Friday, March 25, 2011

Bryce National Park Curves: The Art Flowing Walkway with Garden-area, Another curvy example of Harbin architecture

Harbin ethnography:

... It's a masterpiece (the Harbin temple) in a sense, and fascinating as a further artistic, symbolic and architectural expression of Harbin as place, and counterculture.

The Art Flowing-Walkway with Garden-area between Stonefront Lodge and the guest buildings called Azalea and Walnut, is another waterway-like, and curvy, example of Harbin architecture and design. As a kind of elaborate meandering bridge over actual water (overview drawing, Fig. 21), this walkway allows people to get from the lawn in front of Walnut, and the Gazebo, down to the Harbin market, and the road down to the Residents' Community Center, near the middle parking lot. The water which flows below this bridge, itself, traverses more of this walkable sculpture, in grottoes and pools, below the walkway. The pools themselves, and the little cave below the upper part of the walkway are decorated with lights, and have ceramic objects in the water, like lotus flowers. The plantings are both native and brought in, and create a quite woodsy and tunnel like feel when moving through this walkway. COMING UP FROM BELOW, you can either walk up the main way to the right, with a elongated ocher color cement bench, with a little cement table in front - all beautifully designed - wind sharply left under an arbor (right in front of some steps in front of Azalea guest building), past some pools and cave-like structure with lights under a bridge, and then come to the center point of this walkable sculpture. Embedded in the little open area, is a circular blue glass object, perhaps marking it as central. To the left is a bench sitting area, and if you turn again to the right, you find a big, welcoming, uniquely-designed, cement bench here, which feels a little Alice-in-Wonderland like in its spaciousness and curves. I've eaten lunch on this bunch here under the foliage many times. Heading up beyond the bench, and past the flowing water on both sides below, you can turn right to head out of the sculpture, through a narrow passage, past two recycling and trash containers, near Walnut guest building, and then head up to the pools. COMING UP FROM BELOW the other way, from near the pretty Harbin market, you can either linger at the 3-4 tables there with lunch, sitting on nice and funky sculpture cement benches and chairs, or head up past the market on the stairway in front of you, with Stonefront Lodge to your left. Walking up these stairs, you can hold onto the hand railing, also sculptured to look like tree limbs, with supporting vines – throughout the whole Art Flowing-Walkway – and in the stairway supporting vines (also made out of cement, I think), there area two clutches of ceramic, baby, slightly-cartoonesque, cheery, green dinosaurs, hatching out of eggs. As symbolic expressions of Harbin, they express an aesthetic appreciation for evolutionary history, as well as an appreciation for art. At the top of these stairs, you can turn right in toward the center of this sculptural walkway, with the blue, glass circle in the cement, in the bench area, or turn left, and walk up another flight of stairs to come out at the Gazebo. In the center, behind the smaller bench is a cast, iron pipe extending around 10 feet into the air, which looks to be possibly something unfinished. The whole sculptural area is nicely designed and made, and fills in a space and possibly a creek-waterway that might otherwise be a mess. By walking above this wet area, and turning it into a kind of fluid-in-its-design, sculptural park, Harbin gives further expression to its watery vision, informed by the pools and geothermal H20 abundance emerging from the earth. Water and hippy beauty continue to unfold at Harbin over the decades, as symbolic expressions of its milieu and emergent vision.

The Harbin garden area was bigger than it is now before the temple was finished in 2005. …

( - March 18, 2011)

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