Narnian Castle Does Battle in a Far Northwest Archipelago
The passage of vast sweeps of forgotten time is manifested here. The vintage Royal trinkets suggest a temporary human dominion over nature. This is in stark contrast to the steely grandeur and permanence of rock-made concrete.
The exterior is very much of our particular 21st century and human agency. But the Narnian quality of immense stretches of time is here, too. While the building is clearly of the 21st century, notice how it is wrested from the rocks as if it is in a fight for survival. For now, it is human engineering, glass and concrete, that is winning the battle.
Olson Kundig Architects is famous for their brutally frank buildings. Like their simple manly shooters’ shelter, this lookout on the bleak Northern San Juan Archipelago has a rugged masculine presence. The gruff materials are locally quarried.
Notice how that giant rock to the side of the house was cut. It was ground up into the concrete forming the wall.
A rock sink reminds us where the basic stuff of life we depend on really comes from. Water is not some product that we make artificially in our houses, that we can get out of faucets whenever we need to. Nature must provide it.
Notice how the ancient rock that has been sheered presses relentlessly against the human-engineered glass windows. Rocks have by far outlived humans. They’ll be here when we’re gone.