Bringing archetypal form into architecture
In the 1970’s, I remember seeing a photo taken from above of a massive earthwork on the edge of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The artist had constructed a spiral – perhaps 200 or 300 feet wide – using a bulldozer and fill. This project was created before the environmental protection laws were in place; it probably couldn’t be done now. I wonder if it is still there … it was quite a project!
Most energy movement in nature is cyclical and serpentine, like the jet stream which ebbs and flows, a river of pure natural force; the Gulf Stream moves energetically through cold waters of the Atlantic north creating spiral eddies as it passes; the terrible majesty of a tornado’s vortex.
When we invoke nature’s energetic system in architectural form, we are coaxing her to flow following the shape we have carved.
I laid out the wall at the perimeter with a garden hose, pushing the boundary into the existing rock ledge, then backfilled it with gravel.
Then I handpicked naturally faced granite for the wall and massive 2″ thick slabs for the patio. The perimeter wall is at sitting height.
I designed a spiral which sits in the center and is about ten feet wide, made of red Italian granite. Both the slabs and spiral have bright facets of a reflective metallic ore that sparkles in the sunlight. Marcos, the stonemason, constructed it with a quiet intensity. We nailed it! It is very energetic!
Read more about this project: California Contemporary – Westchester, New York