Inverted Fountain - UCLA

Los Angeles, CA
United States
Inverted Fountain - UCLA

Landscape Information

This landscape feature was inserted into the eastern extreme of the southern campus in 1968. Sited at the terminus of a major pathway in front of Franz Hall, the fountain was conceived by landscape architects Howard Troller and Jere Hazlett and commissioned by university Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy, who encouraged the designers to create something new and original. The fountain’s inversion was necessitated by its siting in the middle of Franz Plaza: wind passing through the open paved court would have carried a conventional fountain’s spray in all directions. The resulting design is a shallow, circular basin edged in a low brown-brick wall, with an interior rill. Water circulating in the rill spills over a circle of red bricks and flows inward across a bed of multi-colored rocks collected in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The current converges at an off-centered well and creates a small waterfall as it tumbles into a 12-foot wide and five-foot deep crater that recirculates the water at 10,000 gallons per minute. This eddy creates the naturalistic sound and appearance of a mountain stream, and was inspired by the bubbling springs and geisers at Yellowstone National Park which Troller had seen in his youth. A campus landmark, the fountain is a popular spot for students to gather and wade into the water.