matejg

Playfulness

- by Matej Gašperič

An email to my clients:

Dear …

During yesterday’s phone call, you mentioned having second thoughts about the ramp toward the kid’s room. It might have been that it was just a non-important remark from your side. Never the less, I have to admit it touched me. Thinking about it, kept me awake this night and I feel the need to share some thoughts about the topic.

A House for Free Spirits-DingDong-2
An indoor Ding Dong swing (by Kaaita) inevitable brings out the kid in us :D

We have had discussed that ramp for quite some times now. First on the sketches, during the conceptual planning, latter on the blueprints and scale models.

I am well aware, it is not an element, you might be usually able to find inside the house. It is an ambiental and functional element that might deeply irritate anyone who is accustomed to order and security, who seeks one’s comfort zone inside the boundaries of tested life patterns and solutions and to whom every risk taking – however tiny it might be – presents a stressful event.

But if we allow our self, at least just for a moment, to open our soul for a pinch of unusual, unexpected,…

An Estate for a Sporty Couple-fireplace
Even not yet completely finished, a curvaceous, Hobbit inspired fireplace, was one of the main attractions on An Estate for a Sporty Couple building site.

There is no doubt the ramp we planned is a bit steeper than it would be comfortable. But at the end of the day, we have to admit, that walking it up and down does not pose any significant effort. It is the fact, that the act requires from our body to activate the unknown muscles, which usually lay dormant 24/7, that disturbs our piece of mind. And then we choose to do yoga and pay a fitness coach to activate those lazy muscles for us!!

But even more noisy alarm is raised by our mind.
“This is not something usual! It is not like any place else! It takes an effort – that shouldn’t be so! It must be wrong!”
Our comfort zone has been threatened and, by the very definition of things, we got alarmed.

Well…

… the way I see it, that is exactly why we should do it.

A House for the Best Years-2 landmarks
The priest at the local church and famous Slovene monastery Adergas said, that the village (Trata pri Velesovem) now has two built landmarks.

Every time you’ll walk this ramp – and regretfully that would not happen that many times since it is not one of the main commuting lines inside the house but rather a tiny path toward the kid’s room – you might actively choose to experience it a bit differently. It can present itself as an opportunity for a second-long yoga stretch or a breathing awareness moment or a motion coordination exercise. Or you might choose it just as a mental reminder, that there is no universal truth, that reality is defined by our thoughts and that we have a choice to see a world around us differently. And by seeing it differently, we are able to change it as well.

It is a mindset I am actively working to preserve in my life and in my way of thinking. And it is something that, through my architecture, I wish to give and spread to my clients as well.

The raw concrete wall inside An Intelligent House and a winding curvy wall at A House for Five and a World of Friends are meant to do. Unexpectedly structured living space inside A House for Five in Nature, that catches us off guard, a dramatic spiral staircase that seamlessly connects open space inside A House for More Than Two and an emphasized breathtaking view in A House for Mountaineers, serve to inspire.

A House for Mountaineers-view
Sea of fog. From indoor and outdoor, A House for Mountaineers offers an awe-inspiring vista throughout the whole year.

The giga-sized Idria’s lace levitating between the floors in A House for Big Living, indoor Ding Dong swing in a House for Free Spirits and daringly shaped fireplaces in A House for a Brave Family and at An Estate for a Sporty Couple feed the playful kid hiding in us all. And the inclined roof at A House for the Best Years (http://bit.ly/1kOBEmE) keeps us wondering how & why?

… to mention just some of many details.

I am convinced that your daughter will be thrilled and excited about the ramp. As well as her friends. Everyone has stairs at home. “But you know, mom, she has her room on a top of the hill! Whoa! Ain’t that cool or what!?” Because they are kids. They are still exploring and learning right from wrong, they have an open soul and haven’t lost their playfulness. They are willing to accept new, unknown which don’t frightens but rather excites them.

A House for a Brave Family-fireplace
An architect personally testing a warm reading corner designed for reading a book throughout long and cold winter evenings.

Huh!
This email was meant to be just a reply, a short statement. But it seems I simply had to offload my soul a bit.

Anyway…

back to your dilemma.

It is quite easily, really. If you do not want to implement that ramp, you can always simply place some stairs on top of it. And that is that.

Me, I see this ramp as a nice little playful detail.

And when we allow ourselves to lose our playfulness, we become bored, grow old and die. First a soul, and a body follows.

So would it be mine house, I wouldn’t omit that little ramp for anything.
No way!

Sincerely Yours
Matej Gašperič, Architect

A House for Big Living-net
When one finally gathers a courage and climbs onto the net – designed as an oversized world-famous Idria lace – a smile is inevitable.

 
 

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