"Stones always tell us long stories. They are natural formations that reflect the growth and decay that occurs over the course of time. Man senses something unique in stone that helps him express his thoughts. In this way we find our connection to the tried and true and our unison with nature."- Werner Blaser

Walls are fundamental elements of architecture, garden and landscape architecture; defining borders, creating spaces and providing protection. They protect and limit. It is in the nature of walls that they should fall. That walls should fall is the consequence of blowing your own trumpet.

HISTORY OF WALLS

The history of walls dates back to 5,000 B.C where town walls defined spaces with their own regulations and helped society live in peace.

The oldest walls found in existence are those of the temple of Gobekli Tepe in Urfa, SouthEast Turkey; dating 11500years ago. These walls are thought to have been built by king Gilgamesh upon which he inscribed his heroic deeds which formed the basis for the later epic he is most famous for.

EXPRESSIVE ART ON WALLS

Walls were traditionally made for defense purposes. However, they have since evolved to being used to showcase expressive portraits. This is a pre-requisite to rock art that developed during the stone age when man developed the practice of art on rock engravings in caves.

Expressive portraits may be considered as destructive but in the artistic sense it is the expression of creativity, personality, attitudes and emotions. One famous artist, Alexandre Farto, creates art through destruction in a process some might consider vandalism.

To Alexandre, carving the walls and peeling away layers of paint to create art is like contemporary archaeology. He divides the images into three colours to create a 3D effect, scratching out the darkest parts of the portraits and highlighting the lightest.

CLIMBING WALLS FOR SPORT

Sport climbing is common where rocks/boulders/plastic materials forming part of the wall are afixed to the wall and used as stepping elements. 

GREAT WALL OF CHINA

This wall built as a free standing structure for defense of the region and it began under the reign of Shi Huangti but was not completed until the time of Ming Dynasty. It has a stunning array of scenery from the beaches of Qinhuangdao, to rugged mountains around Beijing, to a desert corridor between tall mountain ranges at Jiaju Pass.

Facts On Great wall of China

  • It is more than 2300 years old
  • Official length is 21196.18 km
  • The Ming Great Wall crosses 9 provinces and municipalities
  • The average height at Badaling and Juyong Pass is 7.88metres and the highest place is 14metres high.
  • Nearly 1/3 of the wall has disappeared without trace

WALLS OF ROMAN EMPIRE

The wall circuits of Rome can be thought of as roughly concentric in nature, emanating out from the city's pre-historic core at the ancient Roman forum. The encircling hills and enfolding valleys helped to define these human lines of demarcation whereby natural rifts in the landscape were exploited to establish the lines of defense.

NATURAL LIVE/EDIBLE WALLS

Lets create our own natural edible walls in our home gardens as we strive to create a green world. The great late prof. Wangari Maathai set the pace for us and now we have to follow her steps and promote environmental conservation through creating green walls instead of 'grey' masonry stone walls. 

I BELIEVE IN GREEN ARCHITECTURE!

 

 

Published by Eric Muriithi