genius loci

“The spaces where life occurs are places…A place is a space which has a distinct character. Since ancient times the genius loci, or spirit of place, has been recognized as the concrete reality man has to face and come to terms with in his daily life. Architecture means to visualize the genius loci and the task of the architect is to create meaningful places, whereby he helps man to dwell.”

Christian Norberg-Schulz.

11234

Can one add ‘day dreaming’ to their list of skills on a CV? Because I think I am a professional at it. Just as I’ve noted ‘Professional wanderluster’ on my Instagram bio, I have a penchant (and utmost urgency) for wanting to see the world – as I’m sure we all do. I always manage to find myself on Louis’ and Raya’s YouTube channels on a daily basis to get my much needed dose of inspiration, in hopes that my subconscious will work in my favour and attract more travel in my life. That, and an added bonus of good vibes through my day (which almost always ultimately takes me back to the daydreaming).

Sounds crazy, but have you ever been so immersed in a place or experience that your soul identifies a certain feeling with the place? Nostalgia becomes a different emotion every time if you’re as sensitive as I am to these things. Today I found myself missing how I feel when I’m at The African Heritage House (read the first post here). It’s more than just a house/ museum, but an experience of it’s own. What comes to mind is this book we were made to read for a certain unit in my third year of architecture school, “Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture”, where the author Christian Norberg-Schulz describes the concept of ‘spirit of place’ or genius loci. Some places can be described to have a strong spirit of place, and this is one of those spaces for me.

I was last there on the afternoon of New Year’s eve, with the intention of starting my new year on a rich note, dismissing the ordinary coffee shop experience (saving it for countdown a few hours later). It was my second visit to the house in the year 2016, and I’m sure I will be a regular in 2017 – perhaps even have lunch or dinner there one of these days. The tour is always a new experience because there’s so much detail you’d always find yourself picking up on something new. It was all the more charming with the delicately themed Christmas decorations, and I guess I was more present and therefore emotionally attached because of the new year clocking in just a few hours. Or maybe because it hits me more every single time that I am surrounded by art from all over the world, I can feel the richness, the presence of history.

There is something about resilience that I find so attractive. In people, things, culture, history. Because these things transcend time and serve a larger purpose. Knowing the history behind this house makes it earn my respect even more each time I go.

Putting up this post is a way of following through with my energy and ambition from 27 days ago. 27 days ago. Can you imagine January is already coming to an end? I hope you have managed to follow through on your goals, I’m trying my best over here 🙂

Let’s keep chasing our dreams, yes?

The African Heritage House

Location: Google Maps link opens in separate tab.
1000 Ksh. for a house tour (accommodation available on inquiry).
More information on their website here.

PS. How great is it that my first article about the house was shared on their website? Scroll to the bottom of the page, just fantastic 🙂 🙂

Author: Fatma Sultan

Hello, I'm Fatma Sultan. Architecture is my chosen career path. My love and appreciation for art is larger than I can put in a few words but it all comes down to the freedom to express oneself in so many different ways: painting, sketching, drawing, poetry, writing, photography, furniture design, cooking, pottery and even personal style. I hope to inspire my readers in any way that I can, and at least put a smile on somebody's face. Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s