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Culture and Museums - Articles

Hydrants make a splash by doubling as drinking fountains

Photo: hype and hyper

Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Nóra Pákozdi

Fortunately, we rarely see fire hydrants in use – however, they certainly get in the way when you are riding a bike or parking your car around them, so they are not among the most popular sights in the city. Although they are bright red and big, student drivers or hotshot kids borrowing their parents' car sometimes knock a hydrant down, flooding the entire street. One of the winning projects of Design Terminal's Smart City Lab competition is the "Drinking fountain from a fire hydrant” plan – and now the first of them are already in action around downtown.

Photo: hype and hyper

We learned about the project from hype and hyper: Sarolta Hüttl, Judit Soltész, Zsófi Zétényi, and Zsófia Zoletnik all thought that the city's fire hydrants should have an everyday purpose in order to serve the citizens beyond emergency situations. This was a brilliant plan, because there are very few drinking fountains in Budapest – we know of only a few places where we can safely get fresh drinking water on a hot summer day.

Photo: hype and hyper

However, now we can see a fire hydrant with an unusual blue extension in front of the Basilica, on the corner of Sas and Zrínyi – this is the very first installment of the project. From the end of September until November, the special hydrants will appear at 11 spots around the city, with plans that by next summer, we will be able to enjoy fresh water at several locations in Budapest.

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