Sunday, February 2, 2014

20 Years of Urban Design in Maine 3

My first experience with truly great urban space was traveling through Europe during architecture school where I fell in love with medieval Seville and the spaces at the Alhambra and Mezquita in Spain. Just great spatial urban experiences.
Orange tree grid in the cathedral courtyard- Seville

Here sketching the courtyard attached to the cathedral in Seville I discovered how gardens can become an outdoor room with walls and paved floor. Each tree placed in a grid spot with water channels running in the paving irrigating them. Moorish garden design at it's best.

Mezquita de Cordoba- Cordoba

Having admired Escher's prints I fulfilled a dream of sketching the same tiles and scenes he had as in this sketch I made inside the infinity inducing Mezquita de Cordoba. Truly a spatial experience of the highest order.

Entrance to the Alhambra- Granada

It is at the Alhambra though where it all came together: entrance sequence, courtyards, gardens, mathematically complex tiling, intricate vaults, etc. I remember walking up the ramp to the entrance surprised when water began to flow down channels in the handrail height walls on either side of the ramp. A poetic experience if there ever was one.

Alhambra Palace- Granada

Here in the Alhambra the most extraordinary sequence of complex variety of spatial experiences created a lasting impression on my architectural mind. I wanted to create these experiences at home in Maine some day.

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