Life at No.22, Walks

An Architectural Experience in NZ

Most of us automatically start thinking cathedrals, usually on a grand scale or the visual eye-catcher of a modern museum when architectural design is mentioned.   Let me be honest, I took for granted we would have many more years together to reexplore Architectural Wonders of the World while housesitting.  Then I thought does Architecture have to be just about new or old or grand buildings in faraway places?

I think not.

Most weeks, I wander the twisting turning path up and around Mauao [Mount Maunganui], a mountain that is covered with massive mature Pohuatawa trees, even with foliage their thick trunks can be seen firmly rooted to Papatūānuku [the land].  Its thick branches overhanging the path and coastal line.  More noticeable was the towering filigree of branches that adorned those thicker ones and overhung the track like the spindly structure of many a famous gothic cathedral.

Around the corner we go

The waves lapping the shore dulling the surrounding traffic noise and chatter of other walkers exacerbating the feeling of being somewhere special.  A sense of peacefulness and quietness enveloped me for a moment.

It was with a sense of awe that I had trudged amongst those trees and on to thinking of them as not just trees and as an architectural wonderland and a fulfilling architectural design experience.

Architecture is not something we need to be obsessed with ‘thinking’ about, it’s something we just need to feel. When you next visit a well-known building or place and you are asked to describe it to your friends, think about how you felt, about the emotions that ran through you as you walked around or through the building, piazza, garden or forest.

Excellent architecture is all around us, and it may not just be buildings.

Finding it can be a walk through nature.

A Local Architectural Experience New Zealand


36 thoughts on “An Architectural Experience in NZ”

  1. This is beautiful Suzanne and you’re so right, architecture does not have to mean solely buildings, as you say, if time is spent breathing in and feeling the magic that is natures architecture, then it’s a wonderful tonic for life. Wonderful, big hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Mount is indeed a beautiful beach walk and I love the trees. Though for a less crowded one you can’t beat further down towards Papamoa. Have a good week too x


  2. Hi Suzanne, Must admit I never before thought of nature as having “architecture,” But your post helped me see things from a new perspective. That’s what I feel is effective writing. Thanks so much for sharing this personal essay and pictures at #MLSTL. I’ll pin this post and reshare on Linkedin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it wonderful when we take a step back for a moment and “see” with new eyes what we take for granted most other days? Those trees are beautiful and very much a work of art – and the beach looks lovely too.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fabulous insight – and that tree is awesome. I’m with you about how it “feels”… it’s what I like to look for and capture – and you’ve done so with this tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such an insightful post, Suzanne. Architecture can be about so many things – both man made and in nature. I completely agree that great architecture can best be felt.
    Your comment about time and our assumptions moved me deeply. Sending warm hugs your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A walk through nature reveals many colours, shapes, contours, and textures. We just need to pay attention. Many architects and artists get ideas from nature or try to build something to ‘blend’ or work well with the natural surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’re right Natalie in that many creators take inspiration from nature. Some designers have a natural affinity to know what looks great and what doesn’t. My motto is “less is more” and love the ‘natural’ colours.


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