Monday, January 14, 2013


My current preoccupation with architecture extends to boathouses. Last summer, while a guest at Dianne's cottage in the Eastern Townships, I stumbled upon a "village" of boathouses, surrounding a sheltered inlet and built on low-lying, inhospitable land.

What I enjoy about these structures is that they are both architectural and organic at the same time: architectural in the sense that they have been constructed, and organic in that they were improvised with leftovers, and placed to take advantage of any scrap of existing space, and that they show signs of weathering and disrepair.

They remind me of ancient cliffside dwellings, or shantytowns. Their bright colours give them a jaunty, whimsical look, like maritime buildings in Atlantic Canada.

Their skewed horizontals and verticals lend themselves to comical exaggeration.

Clearly they're all about function, not aesthetics. Yet you can also see pride in ownership.

Perhaps when the ice on our lake is more solid, I will take another look at the fishing shacks that populate our bay. They, or the boathouses, may well find a place in my Cityscapes series.

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