Friday, December 21, 2007


How can people not love every scrap of Stata? Before the first winter snow storm I took a meandering route from the lab to Kendall. As you look at Stata from the back you see a bright pile of spiral towers and craggy turrets, brushed steel, orange brick, enameled yellow. A sweep of steps lifts above the nearest entrance. I took the steps. They are half in shadow - bright dappled light through trees on the left cuts them in two. The shadow is punctuated by soft glows from lights set in the left wall. At the flight's crest you reach a hidden valley. Liquid light ripples on the path, reflected there by a central structure. Its curved hull is quilted with mirror-shined plates. The brick path winds between the lake-shine and a small cluster of conifers. Beyond the tarn the view opens onto a grassy area dotted with silver birch. The path tumbles over an unprotected precipice marking valley's end - it is a stepped semi-circular amphitheatre. Descending from the elevated space my footsteps echo on the curved walls. Looking back I see the varied peaks containing their secret tranquility - unknown to the hubbub inside the massif. I pass the main entrance - the path leads away through a copse in the foothills, a risen hillock with a heath-land mix of pine and birch. I take a little fantasy magic with me on my journey to the T.


Sian said...

After reading your blog this fine morning I found myself on the internet seaarching for pictures of the much praised Stata and also found myself wondering - how can you hate this building? It's astounding! Many thanks Nat for the education and I hope to be taken there soon... :-) Sx

Natalie Andrew said...

Thanks lady! And of course, it is a mandatory part of the tour.

Actually I have been told this description is 'a bit much'. In particular, 'Tarn?! Oh come on.' (with a southern accent so it was more like 'oh calm awwwun' or something). I guess it is a little overblown.