Basic though their purpose may be, water towers have long been a fixture of inhabited areas far and wide, from the brobdingnagian barrels atop NYC edifices (per 19th century ordinance for buildings taller than six stories) to sci-fi-worthy monoliths that rise from landscapes like alien flora. At best, they are as beautiful as they are iconic, abiding in the gestalt of the built environment as monuments to our collective engineering prowess, humble sentinels of our hydration needs.
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On the other hand, those of you who see them as eyesores might change your minds when you see Maud van Deursen's "Chateau d'Eau" series of glass decanters. Inspired to highlight the quality of Dutch tap water, the Design Academy grad has created several tabletop water towers that serve as functional sculptures. "The quality of Dutch tap water is exceptional—regulations for tap water are stricter than those for bottled water. Yet bottled water is a thousand times more expensive, plus, it has a negative effect on the environment."
The video below shows how each of the carafes "emphasizes the flow of water in a different way, allowing users to experience the movement of water while pouring." I particularly like the "Réservoir," the tripod-based one; not only does it resemble the water towers here in New York but it also seems like it would be the easiest one to clean. I imagine there are other instances of a bottom-mounted spout out there, but it's certainly an improvement on vessels with side-mounted spouts, in which the last few drops remain inaccessible.
As she noted in an interview with Creators Project, van Deursen modeled them in plastic, recreated them in CAD and collaborated with a glassblower to create the final prototypes, which will be on view during Dutch Design Week. Be sure to check out the water towers if you're in Eindhoven for the event, which kicks off this weekend, October 18, and runs until the 26th.