Charles Graham-Marr celebrates the glory that is Greece but bemoans unenlightened additions to the Edinburgh streetscape
My wonder is Aegina Town, the principal built settlement in the Greek island of Aegina.
All the typical features of a Greek fishing town are there – boats in the harbour, a chapel on the pier, restaurants and cafes along the front, against a background of vibrant Greek architecture with a strong Venetian influence. The town has the buzz and bustle that goes with a way of life lived largely outdoors.
It may not be among the most famous harbour towns in Greece, but it is special to me because of my long association with the island as a holiday destination and because every time I enter the embrace of the bay my stresses and strains melt away. For me to perceive any place as a wonder, I have to feel this kind of emotional connection with it.
In contrast, more or less any building in my home town of Edinburgh built by the universities or government in the sixties and seventies leaves me cold. The university’s buildings around George Square are a good example of this. At the time of conception they represented exciting architecture for a brave new world, but they have not been imbued with any soul by the passage of time.
Charles Graham-Marr is the chairman of 3DReid, the practice created by the merger of 3D Architects and Reid Architecture