The Tin Man House

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Continuing on from the last post, Turret House ,here is the other place mentioned therein, the so-called “Tin Man House’. I guess because of the turret’s likeness to the hat worn by that character in ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, not because it has no heart…it does.

This gothic beauty ,with its white paintwork gleaming in the sunlight,looks harmless enough right now,but at midnight on a moonless night I reckon the turret would be more akin to the Wicked Witch’s hat, and emanating  serious spookiness and evil… I won’t be creeping round in the dark to find out though…

Turret House

20190818_193001Cool house turret in Ponsonby, inner Auckland City.

Turrets are alluring to me.

Why?

Gothic charm, for sure.

Any shape, as long as it fits the bill – round, square, hexagonal, octagonal even; flat- topped or pointy like a witch’s hat.

Something left over from ancient times; a throwback.

A detached but special view over the world below.

Exclusive – most of them are not built for a crowd. Party for one, or two, maybe?

They reek of twisted fairy tales. A friend recognised a house from a photo I took of another turreted specimen nearby to this one, and told me it was known to him as the ‘The Tin Man House’.

Lastly,the very fact that they are not essential to the structure of whatever building they are tacked onto, but utterly transform the place when added. A paradox of design!

For The Want Of A Nail

“Everything seems to fail

  And it was all for the want of a nail”

     – Todd Rundgren, “For The Want Of A Nail” (1989)

Genius musician is proved slightly wrong in the form of this stunning traditional wooden Malay house on stilts . Okay, that is a massive lyric/subject non- sequitur,but  I just love both the song and the house, and there really aren’t that many songs about nails…

Or houses without nails  – not a single one was used in its construction, according to the owners. Mainly interlocked timbers, like a gigantic wood jigsaw puzzle. Amazing.

Right near  top of the list of coolest houses I have ever visited.

Hasn’t failed or fallen down yet apparently…

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Rumah Kampung, Langkawi, Malaysia  2010

A House Repurposed

The house below is architecturally gorgeous, and a favourite local destination of mine, but I am equally intrigued by its history of change.

Built as the showpiece mansion of a prominent merchant in the mid to late 19th century, it has subsequently become a Catholic noviate school , an orphanage, housing for the homeless and now, in public hands, a cutting edge art gallery.

So, big money built it and religion, charity and culture have all lived there since.

The building hasn’t really changed but it has been drastically repurposed from time to time.

The truth it speaks to me is that while we may appear as the same person we have always been (maybe our facade deteriorates over the years!), we are constantly being repurposed in ways we would never have foreseen.

What new thing will occur in our rooms? Who will visit the mansion next?

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Pah Homestead, Auckland, NZ    June 2019 

Gateway To The Meeting House

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The gateway to the meeting house ( or wharenui, literally “big house”) at Orakei Marae, Auckland, NZ with its ornate carvings and traditional spiral motifs. Close ups of two of the carved figures are featured in the previous post  I am lucky enough to work at this beautiful and powerful  place, delivering weekly community legal clinics in rooms behind this structure (in a considerably less ornate building I have to say).Before or afterwards, I have taken many shots of this turangawaewae (standing place) of  the Ngati Whatua iwi(tribe).Again, symbols and stories abound…

Pink House

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If the motel featured in the previous post, ‘Blue Motel’, did not exactly feel like home, neither would this monument to fufu and, erm ,pinkness. Something to love or hate ,or if in doubt ,to photograph . Not to say something good could not come out of a pink house – ‘Big Pink’  was the name and colour of the large house in Woodstock, NY. where The Band created the songs that would appear on their magnificent 1968 debut album of that name. Must post something from it ….