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.
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.