68°58′N 33°05′E

I wonder how the spring is in Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle [30 seconds later] 2ยบ C, rain and drizzle and considerable cloudiness with a coating of an inch of snow. Is it me or has the Internet killed the charm of remote places?


Genius loci

For ancient Romans, genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. Later in the 18th century, Alexander Pope gave the current meaning, i.e. the adaptation of architecture to its natural surroundings:

        “In all, let Nature never be forgot […] Consult the genius of the place in all.”

And building concrete cubes in the deep of the forest is silly. If you don’t believe me, please go and ask to your Genius… he would tell you almost the same thing. Unless he was trained at the Bauhaus.

Some books you might want to read if you decide to go deeper into the subject:
  • Norberg-Schulz, Christian. Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. New York: Rizzoli, 1979
  • Baker, Geoffrey H. Design Strategies in Architecture: An Approach to the Analysis of Form. Van Nostrand Reinhold (International), 1989
  • Charles Moore, Gerald Allen & Donlyn Lyndon. The Place of Houses. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001


    A few days off

    Above, one of the things I did on my Easter holidays. I spent almost seven days wandering from place to place and neither pencils nor sketchbooks were involved during that time… there’s all this pressure when you are drawing au plein air and people become curious about your doodles. They call it stage fright.


    You can’t get too much winter in the spring

    I would offer my kingdom for a quiet afternoon. I am tired of the town. And the crowds. It is time to go back home again.


    More low-budget travels

    I never went to Paris. Shame on me.