Monthly Archives: March 2014

Accidental encounter … Shigeru Ban

“Architecture generally involves creating monuments to permanence from substantial materials like steel and concrete. Yet this year, the discipline’s top award is going to a man who is best known for making temporary housing out of transient materials like paper tubes and plastic beer crates.” – Robin Pogrebin, New York Times


Christchurch, New Zealand, lost its symbolic center when the Cathedral in the center of its downtown collapsed in an earthquake in February 2011. We heard about a “transitional cathedral” on the first day we arrived in Christchurch last month. It was designed by a notable Japanese architect. I didn’t know who.

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Wigandia: a garden of the sun

I first learned of William Martin and his iconoclastic garden, Wigandia, several years ago when he spoke at the Vista lectures in London (I listened to all the Vista podcasts). Shortly after, he discovered my garden through my blog, and an intermittent dialogue and friendship began. Wigandia has been widely publicized in books and magazines, and has been chosen as the best Australian garden twice. But it is not an easy place to get to, situated as it is on the side of an ancient volcanic cone, Mount Noorat, about three hours drive east of Melbourne. When Phil and I planned a trip to Australia and New Zealand in February of this year, a visit to meet William Martin and see Wigandia was at the top of my list.

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