Catching a glimpse of this picture on Pinterest, I was immediately inspired to learn more about the building and artist who created it. What a find to learn about architect -artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and the Hundertwasser House in Vienna, Austria.
As a child Hundertwasser and his mother (who was Jewish) posed as Christians to avoid persecution in the time leading up to WW2. As a result he later developed an anti-totalitarian position and art historians postulate that an early fear of square marching battalions may have led him to oppose any “geometrization” of people and their architecture.
I find this kind of influence on an artist fascinating.
Some of his designs (like this one for an underground highway that’s aesthetically pleasing in addition to being quiet, maximizing land use, and providing trees to filter out noxious chemicals) are remarkably thoughtful and inventive in a modern context.
But what inspires me most about him is his environmental activism and creative conviction. His Mould Manifesto laid out two things: “Your window right — your tree duty.” He believed that planting trees in an urban environment was to become obligatory: “If man walks in nature’s midst, then he is nature’s guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest.” The Window Right stated that : ‘A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm’s reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm’s reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door.’” (he is man after my own HOA-hatin heart)
I also find it both heartening and dis-heartening to realize that greener buildings, vertical gardens and vegitecture, and the ideas behind them are not all that new or trendy. I sometimes have such optimism that as designers we are beginning to address environmental challenges, but then when I realize that colleagues from 40 or 50 years ago were also doing the same (in this case, planting trees in buildings!) I wonder if we are making actual progress or if it just feels like it? What do you think?
Images from wikipedia, Tinas blog, and exchange connect.
Completed and dedicated in 2006, the Anthony Chapel, designed by Jennings + McKee is the new star of the Garvan Gardens. Garvan Gardens is located on the shores of Lake Hamilton and is the creation and gift of Verna Cook Garvan.
From the Garvan Gardens website:
“The site for Garvan Woodland Gardens was purchased in the 1920′s after a clear-cut in about 1915. Mrs. Garvan loved this beautiful place so much that she never allowed it to be cut again. In 1956 she began to develop it as a garden and possible future residence. She was intimately familiar with the land and laid out each path, marking every tree to be removed. Verna also personally chose each new plant and selected its location.
Over the next forty years, Mrs. Garvan planted thousands of specimens which now form an impressive collection. There are hundreds of rare shrubs and trees, some over 40 years old.”
The Anthony Chapel is an extraordinary work of art that highlights the beauty of the natural elements and the dense woods that surround it. The soaring 57-foot, open-rafter ceiling, supported by massive pine columns and crossbeams and provides beautiful views of Lake Hamilton. It reminded me immediately of the Wayfarers Chapel (built by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son) near where my in laws live in Palos Verdes, CA. It is unsurprising since both have an FLW connection.
Upon her death, Mrs. Garvan left the property to the Department of Landscape Architecture through the University of Arkansas Foundation. ,
It was Mrs. Garvan’s wish that the Gardens be used to educate and serve the people of Arkansas, providing them the joy and repose it had offered her. She noted the devastation of the environment that had taken place in her lifetime and wished to preserve a remnant of the twentieth century’s natural grandeur for generations to come.
image from the becker
I am drooling over the Yestermorrow Design Build School and though it is almost the end of January, I have a new, new years resolution.
I will attend a class of some sort (at the yestermorrow school or likewise) and learn a new hands on do it myself building technique.
image from the cleaner plate club.
As I peruse the course offerings of the Yestermorrow school (in the Mad River Valley of Vermont), I am intrigued by the Earthen Oven building course, the art of stone working course (with my new crush Thea Alvin), or maybe I will learn to make a willow canoe, or participate in the yurt design/build class. My head is swimming with the excitement of possibilities.
Tree house built by in a past class my yestermorrow students. Image from Blushing Pretty.
Care to get your hands dirty and learn something exciting? Check out Yestermorrow and let us know in the comments if and when you decide to attend.
The armadillo house built by past yestermorrow students. Image from Tiny House Talk.
Which should be the before and which should the the after? I decided, finally, to go with the more encouraging version. While it is snowy and beautiful now, it will turn green and just as beautiful again soon.
Tree house belongs to, and was photographed by stocksundgarden.
I found it!! ….This is the inspiration shot that is helping me get my head around the upgrades we plan to make to our tree house this year. Until I saw this, I didn’t realize how much ‘foundation’ plantings could add to a tree house — a place with no true foundation. Also, in the spirit of cost effective and simple solutions, I love that this house really doesn’t have walls — just bamboo shades and breezy curtains that can be brought in for the winter. We are discussing our roof architecture but I am so excited that we all agree that this is just what we want and that is a huge achievement for this family of four with widely differing opinions.