Sean Adcock, editor of Stonechat, the newsletter of the DSWA North Wales branch, has asked me to write something about the Archer’s Pavilion for an upcoming issue; its inspiration, technical bits, how I approached it, and what if anything I’d do differently. Here are my first thoughts on the subject, with more to come in the days ahead.
Since it was completed in 2001, the landscape feature titled “Archer’s Pavilion” in Newfane, Vermont has elicited a lot of curiosity and questions about its design and construction. I’d like to discuss specifics of those two elements of the piece but before I do I want to mention something about what I consider the third leg in its creation. It would not be standing today if not for its patrons, Barbara and Ernie Kafka. Without their wish to initiate a work on their property and their complete openness to its being of a design of my choosing I could not have conceived of the Archer’s Pavilion. Their simple request, to make something, was a huge leap forward in my creative process. Willing and trusting clients are to be cherished. Without them there are no real-world fantasies, only castles in the sky.
My particular brand of fantasy relies on real time and real space to develop. Once I have a clear mandate to proceed with a site, the desire to create rushes in. It stokes the engine that turns design ideas into building programs. The physical task of moving and placing tons of stone is sometimes difficult and always time consuming but it is made light work by the desire to manifest a dream. Desire blows life into stone.