Kizhi Pogost is one of my favorite buildings in the world. It is like a wooden folklore castle.
The Church of the Transfiguration (Russian: Церковь Преображения Господня) is the most remarkable part of the pogost. Its altar
was laid June 6, 1714, as inscribed on the cross located inside the
church. This church was built on the site of the old one which was burnt
by lightning. The builders names are unknown. A legend tells that the
main builder used one axe for the whole construction, which he threw
into the lake upon completion with the words “there was not and will be
not another one to match it”.
The church has 22 domes and with a height of 37 meters is one of the tallest wooden buildings of the Russian North.
A team from the University of Cumbria have produced a floating house which can be transported worldwide to any lake or waterway. The designs are flexible, so it can be produced in varying sizes and according to different requirements. Completely self-sufficient, the house can be fitted with a solar-powered motor.
My cousin Daniela is studying to be a veterinarian. Her parents’ home in the hills of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, is like a tiny animal sanctuary — two goats, some cats, several bunnies and birds, nine dogs (!) and a couple of horses. Her older sister Camila has been studying for the MCAT exam — she wants to be a doctor. Across the street is my Aunt Yamilla’s home, formerly the home of my grandparents, where my sister and I spent every summer as children. I remember when my grandfather Guisin was building it — at last, moving up to the peaceful hills after a life in town.
There’s no shortage of stories about the devastation experienced in my beloved Puerto Rico in the past week. From the children still searching for signs of their parents, to the families who’ve lost everything but one another, to those displaced from the only homes they’ve ever known — Hurricane Maria’s collision with Puerto Rico has been the most brutal in the island’s modern history, leaving a destroyed power grid and unprecedented destruction in its wake.
As Maria roared toward the island, my family in Puerto Rico braced for impact. They knew Abuelo Guisin’s wooden dream home — where I worked on new musicals during summer breaks from college — could not possibly withstand a major hurricane. For a time, my uncle’s concrete home across the street became Noah’s Ark, as my family sought refuge there, along with Daniela’s animal menagerie. In addition to the animals, my family quickly gathered the things that can’t be replaced: family photos and mementos colored with memories of generations of Mirandas. Needless to say, Camila’s MCAT exam has been indefinitely postponed.
The wooden panels creak softly as you step inside the silent studio. The white walls give the room a heavenly glow, but it’s nothing compared to the radiance of the scattered canvases. Along every side of the room, line various paintings. Some unfinished, and some only with a single stroke of medium. You love every single one of them.
The floors are speckled with year-old stains from oil paints, charcoal, and cold coffee. You wonder how the walls still lay untouched.
A lone easel sits in the center of the room, its legs buried by crumbled paper, paint tubes, and broken brushes. You walk over and sit on the wooden stool next to the stand. Your eyes are drawn to his latest work. You admire the vibrant colors and wonder how he does it. It’s just a base layer of blues and whites, but a strange warmth envelopes your heart.
nostalgia. believing in fairy tales. falling in love with fictional characters. getting lost in a book and day dreaming. wooden merry-go-rounds with hand-carved horses. that fleeting moment right before a kiss. screaming at the top of your voice just because. bonfires and roasted marshmallows. the sound of cars passing by on a busy night. staying up till way past three in the morning. slowly treading your fingers through someone’s hair. new messages. the starting of summer.
Cipea Villa is a holiday residence designed by Sanaksenaho Architects as part of the CIPEA exhibit in 2012, China. The architect’s aim for the villa was to create harmony between the structure and surrounding nature, an example of this being the reflection of the villa on the surface of the lake. Every interior surface is cladded with local cherry wood, creating a warm, smooth and organic atmosphere.