Just Around the Corner: The International Fountain

In the summer, the International Fountain at the Seattle Center is a magnet for visitors wishing to get relief from the heat by getting soaked.

In the cold of autumn, the fountain is a lonely performer, only to be seen and not approached.  This is how it was Oct. 2, as seen through a time-lapse video.

Here are some fun facts about the International Fountain:

It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

Designed by the Japanese architecture team of Kazuyuki Matsushita and Hideki Shimiz, both in their 20s. The fountain’s inspiration: “Mankind’s efforts to explore the farthest reaches of outer space.” For their efforts, the architects received $20,000 (or about $170,000 in today’s figures).

In 1995, the fountain was redesigned, removing the protruding nozzles and surrounding white rocks.  A 10-foot tall, 27-foot wide stainless steel dome replaced the old dome.

The jets are remotely controlled at a location north of the Seattle Center, and the pump system is 30 feet underground.

Other statistics according to the Seattle Center website:

Water Capacity: 9,000 gallons

Water Shooters: 137 total mist nozzles, 77 fleur-de-lis’, 56 microshooters, 4 Super Shooters
Height reached by Super Shooters: 120’
Water in one Super Shooter: 66 gallons
Air pressure in one Super Shooter shot: 120 psi
Number of water programs synchronized to music: Five, with each show lasting up to 12 minutes
— Story and video by David Carlos