Water and Stone in Poetry

A momentary glance was all it took. Past the layers of broken rock shards and interspersed sedimentary fragments, a sudden rush of air, and the waterfall appeared before my eyes like a grand orchestra rising above the skies. The sheer massiveness of the rock shard wall stood like a scene from lord of the rings, like a fortress growing organically out of soil. The patterns cast by shadows on the fa├žade created this feeling as if the thing was from outer space, and had landed crashing into the ground a millennia ago. Yes, it reminded me of alien ruins. I walked slowly toward the ridiculously green grass that sprawled underfoot – they glimmered and shone in the morning sun like fluorescent green jewels of unknown origin. Water dripped, moistening the fertile grounds, and scintillating light pierced through the clear morning sky. I looked upward, following the vertical orifice, tracing my eyes along violently angular cut rock, where moss and patches of grass started taking foothold between cracks. At first, it seemed like a man-made relic from quarry blastings, but upon further contemplation: nobody would cut rocks diagonally into a mountain that looked like worthless sedimentary rocks. Therefore the mind came to a conclusion – huge chunks of rock must have broken off from the wall, due to erosion from an endless stream of water, resulting in a rock outcrop, perching, precarious and mesmerizing. The diagonal slices are like gashes on the mountain wall, and from it flowed green grass, and from it dripped water. The gashes bring the eye on an upward journey and into the sky, a clear blue with a hint of white.

Water flowed from the spouts of heaven up above, trickling at this time of the year, and it came down like little crystalline droplets, wetting the rocky mountainside. It dripped off those sharp edges and banded together through some delicate, intricate system of ontological waterways, weaving within the rocks and culminating in bigger and bigger streams of water. Some drop off the perched edge, some flow through surface tension on the face of stone, and some, dashed into a million shards on its maiden voyage down the spout, drift downward like a membranous veil of silk, creating a flowing mist of water that cast itself upon the waterfall like smoke as it falls with gravity. Gravity itself, for a moment, felt like it was suspended in the thin air of surreal omnipotence, as the waterfall warped and weft through jarred stone, casting a magical, almost eerie glisten upon the towering walls, ruins under false pretences.

It was heart rending in its presence, even more so in memory.

And it reminded me of architecture, for its potent, powerful existence, a scene more real than real, hyperrealistic. So much so that it appeared to transcend what we normally perceive to be the normative world. And somehow, it contained within it visions of what we call ‘contemporary architecture’ today. Looking back in retrospect, the architecture that we see on magazines, a la Daniel Libeskind and his peers, seem to be only achieving what nature has effortlessly been doing since the dawn of time. It is a good thing, yet not so. It now looks like a transformation from sugar-cube modernism to disintegrated-rock deconstructivism. Regardless of pretension in the battle of styles, this timeless natural architecture is up for your own interpretation.

Place: Sg Lembing waterfall / Rainbow waterfall

Time: 10am for best effect.

P.S. Apologies for the sorry condition of the photo. they just don't do the reader justice. it has to be experienced first hand.


Golden Tint...

While i was driving home today, i saw a proton waja sporting side view mirrors that were tinted gold. they gave off a beautiful sheen, as i watched it closely and saw the reflection of the world in a rich new hue. the blue sky turned blazing yellow was such a magnificent sight to behold! the buildings! all looking resplendent in their new shine, like a gleaming city of gold! It got me thinking: what a world it could be, like a bright new dawn, all perfect and glorious, a futurist's wet dream.

then i thought, was that what the driver wanted? to view the world in reflection, delving only in the beauty of it all, shedding away all worries and troubles as he gazes at the mirror, and a beautiful city gazes back at him? rose tinted glasses with a modern touch?



What has our world become today? Why is there the inherent need to reduce carbon footprint in everything, why do we require so much of ‘sustainable’ architecture now as opposed to the days of yore?

Immediate causes are identified as the overpopulation of our world, the careless attitude of us people, the ‘reaping and not sowing’ human traits et cetera et cetera.

What have we architects(or architects to be) done to reduce carbon footprints, overcome overpopulation, or been sustainable? These questions relate directly to architecture, of building buildings that need to be less and less harmful for the environment, but are we taking a proactive role in our execution of designs?

In light of that, I would like to bring your attention to a former post from BLDGBLOG entitled ‘architectural sustainability’.

BLDGBLOG had a post on sustainable architecture which talks about buildings that are not as bad as they could have been (as opposed to being helpful to the environment), and also about a comparison between flashy architects who slap fans onto a skyscraper and tout it as green, as opposed to other architects who do it in less apparent ways like reducing embodied energy. The bottom line is that the building with wind turbines get press coverage and popularity – when it actually is less green than the other, less glitzy one. This reflects what the society’s perception has become, to revere showy buildings.

What saddens me is that when you factor in the commercial glamour, net profit, and materialistic clients, that is very much a building that they are ultimately looking for – pompous buildings.

The Castle House tower by Hamiltons architects; taken from BLDGBLOG which took it from Inhabitat

Disclaimer: this post is not an attack on the architect or its client, it is merely an observation culminated from my personal readings.


Ruby and Architecture

I would like to explore the connections between what we see here as a music video with the concept of urbanization.

Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs

The first thing that came to my mind was that the lyrics of the song has nothing whatsoever to do with the music video per se. so I tried finding out what in the world has love got to do with a creation of a city in the desert.

Keywords: City, urbanization, desert, fast forwarded

My first thought was, “is it related to Las Vegas? The city that sprouted almost overnight, impressing me as an overzealous bid for insanity? I might have a narrow-minded view of the Las Vegas strip, but preconception has brought me this mini-revelation. It seems that the song sings of a one-sided relationship, an enthusiastic romantic. Sort of like the one night stands and gambling and adult entertainment in Las Vegas. A city overnight.

This connotation of impermanence might purvey to us an insight to the temporariness of love in this world today, and vice versa. Erm. To put it simply, love is likened to a rapidly changing world, easy come easy go. And before anyone tries to place me as an anti-romantic, no it is not a personal gesture. :P

There was a part in the song where the band members, in their indifference to what was happening to them, disrupted construction and swatted zeppelins (maybe a nod toward Led Zeppelin, whom they were inspired by in this album). Puns and parodies aside, this could be thought of as factors of hindrance in the process or urbanization. This elimination of these factors proved difficult, when the helicopters dropped toxic waste on them and it slipped off like water off wax.

Imagine, political, societal and cultural restrictions, personified. Imagine, government protection, status quo reliance, the metaphorical wax. The end result – building around the walls of security and isolation, growing in spite of impediments; treating them with a mild disapproval.


A Seed

That's right.. after neglecting this blog and letting down everyone (or possibly no one - nobody knew.. -_-''), i have finally gotten the oomph i needed to start writing again. Nope, this will not be about me. I have no interest in talking about myself. :P this blog will be about ARCHITECTURE~

What i intend to do to this blog is to create seeds, or beginnings, or inducers to the forming or architecture. inspirations, interesting buildings, and other whatnot which escapes my memory will be discussed here.

Hope you like it!