WOODEN HUT ON THE LAKE: Lifting the spirit of humanity.

I couldn’t help wondering – perhaps our descendants had a more aquatic past in their veins?   I wanted to know the origins of man’s willingness to build in such extreme environment…  Could it be true, that we began constructing on the shore and then gradually moved on to building on dry land? 

  An image of me photographing the wildlife on the Prespa Lake.

From the very first encounter I have admired the pile-founded constructions as a reflection of utopian architecture.  These unique lodgings posses such powers that are capable of lifting the spirit of humanity instantaneously… In many cultures and religions there is a myth or recollection of a remote past when people lived in a primitive and modest state, but simultaneously one of perfect happiness and fulfillment.  There was an instinctive harmony between man and nature.  Human needs were easily satisfied by the generous nature.  People were simple and virtuous.

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 12.45.44Simple wooden huts on the lake.

During my visit to the Republic of Macedonia, I luck into a deserted fishers’ hut on the Prespa Lake.  This place had such powerful impact on me that, few days later I have returned to this place determined to explore it closer.  For a period of few days I have been photographing, filming, observing and living the actual life on water.  I felt very inspired by the surrounding waters and elaborated on the relationship between the nature and the structural elements constructed by human being.  I instinctively knew, that this concept of dwelling owned lots of significant potential yet to be discovered.  In the flow of my research a very exciting interpretation had evolved: pile dwelling architecture as utopian answer to an advanced, forward-looking way of habitation.

I wanted to know the origins of man’s willingness to build in such extreme environment. I have challenged my research to prove that the element of water played a significant role in human’s persistent strive for the ideal state.  It has been well documented that humans living in the Bronze Age, quite frequently constructed their dwellings on lakes.  But the so-compelling question here was; why would our ancestors choose to build on the face of wet environments, such as lakeshores?  One of the reasons could be the location, providing abundance of fresh fish, easy trading routes as well as an ideal defensive habitat.  But I couldn’t help wondering – perhaps our descendants had a more aquatic past in their veins?  Perhaps this was the initial type of human dwelling?  Could it be true, that we began constructing on the shore and then gradually moved on to building on dry land?

Article and photography Katrina Kocialkowska.

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