Moreton Island, off Brisbane Australia, is an architect’s dream come true.
True survivors, architects enjoy having opportunities to test and prove their skills on this wilderness island.
Sailing, paddling, snorkling, fishing, dodging sharks, making fires, fire breaks and so on. Building elaborate temporary privacy structures for the ‘toilet’ while camping.
For an architect, a visit to the island presents a series of interesting design challenges that may remind him of his undergraduate projects.
But the skills and problem solving abilities most needed are those related to driving. Tricky driving on sandy tracks and beaches with rising tides.
Not long ago an executive from Sth America visiting the island nearly perished after getting lost for days in the bush on the island. He’d strayed from the path while on a day tour. This story amazes architects, who would never have gone on such a tour in the first place. But certainly would have had a compass, water and food. And even without these would have found their way to the tour bus or freshwater lake or the coastal roadway in no time at all.
Moreton Island is only accessible by boat or ferry. Because it’s a sand island with no roads you need to have a serious 4 wheel drive vehicle and serious off road driving skills. The architect is different to other suburban SUV owners, as the architect needs to own a 4 wheel drive vehicle for the trips to Moreton Island. And possibly a winch, bullbars and other heavy duty car accessories that normally only wankers, rednecks and roo shooters would own.
The island has superb wilderness which the architect can enjoy from the vehicle. All manner of gadgets and gear that the architect happens to have, come in handy on Moreton Island. Not only the GPS, compass and digital camera, but gadgets for testing air pressure, special pumps for adding air to tyres and camping gear, and clever multipurpose tools for cutting, gutting, dosing and dicing. The architect’s maglite torches and sigg aluminium water bottles get plenty of use.
Best of all, their mobile phones are out of range.
The island has few houses and the small settlements are spread apart from each other on the island. This way architects can avoid bumping into other architects. However, for those particularly reclusive architects there are some concrete bunkers left behing after the war – the ultimate accommodation.
Simple modernist cubes, they have no floor coverings or furniture and leave a whole lot to the imagination of the architect who admires the purity of their form but loves to contemplate what could be done to improve it. This tension between leaving it pure and improving it can keep the architect stimulated for hours.
This is something he has learned not to talk about with his wife.
The view the architect has from the concrete bunker.