Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Pagoda

Looking ahead, my next big project is taking shape. It was Cheryl's idea to begin with, and now I am obsessed with it. I'm going to build a sort of Chinese/Japanese pagoda/tea house in the back yard, with a curved roof, though not as curved as the one pictured below.

It will go in the currently overgrown and wild north corner of the yard, a place in perpetual shade from the neighbor's huge oak tree and from the countless Florida scrub tree that have popped up on our side of the fence and that have been spared from the chain saw because they hide two ugly buildings from view: the neighbor's guest house on one side and the other neighbor's garage.

So, my first step will be to put up a big fence to hide these ugly concrete toads from view--probably a ten-foot fence. And then I'll clear out the area. It's so hard to walk around back there now that I'm not actually sure how much room I'll have for the pagoda.

I'm in the learning phase now. I've always wondered about those Asian buildings with the curved roofs. Why would they go to so much trouble to perk up the corners of the roof when a straight line is so much easier to create? And why, as I'm now learning, are pagodas some of the oldest structures on earth, surviving earthquakes when other buildings simply crumble? And doesn't the curve seem backward, sagging in the middle instead of arching up like a bridge?

Apparently the secret is in the curve, and there's a mathematical formula for it. How very cool.

More later...

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