The Bucket Fountain
History and museums
The Bucket Fountain is an iconic kinetic sculpture in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. It is located in Cuba Mall, which is part of Cuba Street. It consists of a series of "buckets" that fill with water until they tip, spilling their load into the buckets and pool below. The fountain was designed by Burren and Keen and erected in 1969.
Much of the water does not reach the buckets below, but instead splashes onto pedestrians and onlookers. On windy days (common in Wellington) water is carried several metres from the fountain.
People often add dishwashing detergent to the water, which spreads bubbles all over the mall. This is common on Friday and Saturday nights.
Wellington City Council upgraded the fountain in 2003, and some buckets were turned around so they intentionally tip their water onto the pavement.
In February 2016 during University Orientation Week, one of the larger yellow buckets located near the bottom of the fountain was stolen in the night. After a plea by the Wellington City Council to have the bucket fountain returned, three days later, the missing bucket was left in the pool at the base of the fountain. The returned bucket was found to have been painted with an an intricate and psychedelic pattern. The Wellington City Council stated it would hold an 'artistic debate' on whether to keep the new paint job.