Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Portland, OR | Lan Su Chinese Garden

Hi Colleauges,

Enjoy this pixel-roll of the inspiring Lan Su Chinese Garden at PortlandOregon:

Enter the garden gate:
What shape do you see here? (above)

Tour guide (above)

Hibiscus (above 2)
My mom grew a hibiscus tree for years.

One of my favorite scenes (above)

Calligraphy table (above)

Nestled in the city (above)
Love the clouds here;
they meet at a V with the structure (above)

Weeping willow trees
look to me as green water
running down a window pane
much as their reflection
in the pool (above 3)
I used to ride my bike underneath one back home.
The leaves slapped my face.
Still they make a great canopy!

Dogwood, yes?
Just as the gate (above)
If this were my bell,
then I'd ring it when it's tea time! (above)

Other worldly:
Photo taken from inside
the structure reflection (above)

Excellent foot massage! (above)
I walked around the Market and Old Town/Chinatown. I found the Lan Su Chinese Garden to be a highlight, and there also met a couple from VancouverBC.  The entry fee was worth it just to massage my feet on the patio stones.  Actually the garden may consider a feet massage entry fee, say $4.50 for twenty minutes.  I'll go for that! :D  I also liked how the garden entrance felt under my feet:  smooth and curved stone.  Again, enter the walking theme.  There's also a tea house on-site for anyone wishing to rest their feet a spell to sample pastries and tea.

When in VancouverBC earlier in the week, I visited the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.  I like Asian-themed gardens, such as Kubota Garden (Seattle),  Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden at Manito Park (Spokane), and Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland).  One must visit the great Pacific Northwest just to see these gardens!

The guide spoke of the philosophy for a garden to be a city respite and to heighten the senses to the tension between yin/yang, or as I reflected, human patterns and infrastructure with nature's patterns and nuances.  I wanted to know how building infrastructure with seemingly separate compartments realized this goal.  He compared the garden to a bee hive:  Our patterns become part of nature, too.

So you see it's important to design urban centers with cross-sector and architectural overlaps that sustain nature and benefit quality of life, culture, and the public commons.  On that note, we can learn design principles from municipal Chinese gardens and Rob Adams, director of design and culture at Melbourne City Council and RMIT and University of Melbourne professorial fellow since 2004:  Design cities to transform them.  I see parks and gardens fitting into that landscape.  After all, we need to cohabitate with nature to be ourselves and to live.  

Prior to Portland, I enjoyed the "Infinity Loop" to Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge, watched the orchards go by in Wine Country, stopped for dinner in Hood River, and then watched the sunset along the Columbia River Gorge.  

Learn more about trips to Oregon and join me on my travels.

Enter the Gate to
Massage your feet, heels, and eyes
City respite--Home.