Saturday, January 26, 2013

From the Sacred to the Vernacular

Garden House by North Star Stoneworks
Chapel ruin in County Clare, Ireland
It has been said that we have our feet in the earth and our heads in the heavens.  

We unconsciously seek to bring together our sense of the divine and the furniture of our everyday lives.  The result is most profoundly seen in gardens.  The plants we choose to inhabit our gardens reflect our own unique balance between heaven and earth.  Landscape designs that recognize the emotional significance of a hollyhock, an oak tree, or bed of moss succeed.  

As my work has evolved from plantsmanship and stone works, to building actual buildings, I have discovered that the same principle applies.

garden  by North Star Stoneworks
Over the years it  has saddened me to see that a tremendous quantity of lumber and masonry is applied to buildings that have no meaning beyond the box that shelters the owners.  This sounds harsh.

With just a bit more thought, and perhaps introspection, the same materials could be used to create homes that are alive with the personalities and dreams of the owners.  Part of the responsibility lies with the builders, who desire efficiency (read: mass production) and part with the buyers who feel that is all they can get from their budget.

'Spin and Margie's Desert Hideaway
Neither of these are true.  The added effort to reform the materials is in the planning.
Frank Lloyd Wright was once challenged to build a house for $6000.00 (in the 1950's).  He did it even though his other projects ran 10 to 100 times that budget.

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