Pictured above Charles and Ray Eames gaze at Shaker founder Mother Ann Lee(1736-1784), believed to be the Second Appearance of Christ in female form. Below Hannah Cohoon’s gift drawing “Tree of Light, or Blazing Tree” received in a vision in 1845.
Strong forms and materials challenge comfort and simplicity. Stunningly simple, heavily understated, this granite bench chills in the inhospitable snow of Yosemite Valley.
The bench is a monument to the geology of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and the gravitational forces that have scraped, scoured and shoved them for 40 million years in Yosemite Valley, in Hetch Hetchy, and as shown here, in the Emigrant Wilderness. Harsh, numbing, forbidding, exhilarating, the bench exhibits an elemental design logic, older than history, appropriate to a Sierra winter or home furnishings for Fred Flintstone.
Strong forms and strong materials have their powerful attractions despite their indifference to human comfort. While comfort and simplicity remain our guiding goals, architectural design is not always about comfort, nor is simplicity always so simple. An elegant goal, achieving simplicity from the myriad of materials and conditions required for modern construction is frequently a challenging and in this case weighty proposition requiring serious tools and strenuous effort.