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Bringing archetypal form into architecture

This hand-crafted spiral is constructed of Italian red granite and has slight metallic flecks of shimmer.

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!

 

Water rushing through deep canyon.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.

 

 

 

The serpentine shape of this wall, the willow gate, and the granite slabs of the patio make an great outdoor living space. Linda’s patio replaced a massive crudely built deck.

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