We do understand the need to maximize the use of an expensive, hard to acquire choice piece of property, to ensure maximum gain per square meter, that obsession with large grandeur structures that look like miniature palaces from the exterior. No doubt, some of the newer structures ones sees around town now are quite lovely in their architectural make-up as though forces unseen are racing around waving magic wands and poof! gone are old, dowdy crooked looking structures, fast replaced with bolder, simply beautiful architecture with cleaner, straighter lines, solid looking roofing tiles and catchy balcony rails to complete a more modern effect. Even subtle signs of deconstructivism, is being reflected in a few buildings and what’s left of those old dowdy buildings, stick out like sore thumbs, almost as though naked in a park, wishing to hide in shame.
“Progress” it seems, is synonymous with big houses, big cars and …. tight spaces.
So eager are these structures to impose and impress that they dominate their entire grounds leaving not much of what we’d like to call negative space or in this case, breathing space. What’s left of the grounds is prudently divided between the odd shrub or 2, the very clichéd masquerade tree and concrete. Concrete of course has to have greater consideration for the sake of “squeeze-parking” as many of ’em big cars as there are.
One mourns the rapid decline of lush green spaces as the concrete jungle slowly makes its way creepily across the cityscape. Even worse are apartment complexes built for rent, as profit is the aim of the game and a 10-family estate is built with parking space the size of a shoebox and as an obvious low-priority, some shrub and grass placed as window dressing.
Remember how massive compounds were back in the day? A seemingly endless stretch of playing ground for shrieking happy restless children and there always seemed to be a readily available hideaway tree to climb. Definitely, one still stumbles upon such places and not without some soul-stirring nostalgia, a lingering look and few happy thoughts of childhood. For the most part though, our grandeur structures with the lovely roofing tiles, delicately wrought balcony rails and cool colour combos have, with their very perceptible suffocating embrace on our lush greens and vast spaces, have taken over.
I call it… the efizi effect.