The Bucket Fountain in Wellington, New Zealand

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The Bucket Fountain is one of the quirkiest and most well known landmarks of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. The fountain consists of a series of buckets that fill with water until they tip, spilling their load into the buckets and pool below. However, instead of reaching the buckets below, much of the water just splashes outside the fountain onto unfortunate pedestrians and onlookers. The fountain is located in Cuba Mall, which is part of Cuba Street.

Designed by architects and town planning consultants Burren and Keen, the Bucket Fountain was constructed in 1969 as part of the Cuba Street Pedestrian Mall. The fountain was designed such that the buckets regularly tip its contents out onto the pavement, rather than into the buckets below. The pipes that fill the top buckets were deliberately made short so that on windy days a lot of water gets blown away before reaching the buckets.

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Cuba Mall has received two facelifts, in 1980 and in 1998, but the Bucket Fountain continues to remain remarkably faithful to its original construction, although regular maintenance is required to keep it operating.

The fountain was subjected to vandalism at least twice – once when The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood admitted relieving himself in the fountain while in New Zealand filming the movies. Another time, in March 2006, the bucket fountain was coated in a mud-like substance by New Zealand artist John Radford.

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The Bucket Fountain was coated clay by artist John Radford, not to mention an old car, being added to the popular public art piece in Cuba Street. Photo credit

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