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Support grows for erecting AJ Kiosk water fountains

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A growing wave of media and political support could see proposals from the AJ Kiosk challenge installed on the streets of London

A raft of leading figures praised and backed building the ‘attractive’ designs which went on show at the Building Centre following a day-long crit last week.

The schemes by Adam Architecture, AHMM, Eric Parry, Hopkins, Studio Weave and Zaha Hadid Architects have made headlines around the world, from the Evening Standard to the Malay Mail.

Hinting that there would be top-level backing to build one of the proposals, AJ Kiosk challenge jury member and mayoral adviser Daniel Moylan said: ‘London’s streetscape is so diverse, I think there is a place for all of these drinking-fountains in the right locations on London’s streets.’

Jonathan Glanz, Westminster City Council councillor for West End Ward, added: ‘The Kiosk designs offer an attractive solution for drinking fountains in the heart of our capital and I hope we see these, and similar, fountains springing up across London before long.

‘Water from a fountain is 3,000 times greener than bottled water and considerable success is being achieved working with land owners, businesses and the Royal Parks to deliver new public facilities and cut down on bottle waste.’

Meanwhile architect Ben Addy of Moxon – which won a Royal Parks contest for new drinking fountains in Kensington Gardens two years ago – said: ‘Drinking fountains are extremely civilising things. In Morocco public fountains are all over the place and it’s very positive for the public realm.

‘Unlike our design some of these are quite massive but if you look at Mediterranean cities some drinking fountains are quite discrete and others are grand urban gestures – there is space for both.’

Their support raises the prospect London Mayor Boris Johnson may back the water kiosks and make good on his 2008 pledge to replace bottled water with new drinking fountains.

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