portal authority

October 16th 2014 Comments: 5 Topics: , ,

Something transfiguring happens when you walk through a doorway. An alchemy of atmosphere, mood and attitude occurs within that thin plane; you are at once someplace new and different.
crow-048Most see doorways as a practical necessity – a simple way to get from one room to another. I see them as avenues for potential glorification. After all, good buildings are more than just studied plans and composed elevations. Left as architectural exercises in flat artistry, they will be just that – flat. A wonderful building should be wholly experiential – a symphony of vista, passage and journey. Doorways should serve as the rests and codas amid these passages.

Consider the magically transforming portals of literature – Alice in Wonderland or The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; these passages seem to haunt our collective unconscious. In dreams, magic doors rank right up there with flying, falling, having to take a test you haven’t studied for, appearing in public naked, or having your teeth fall out. Whether providing escape or opportunity – doors hold such promise.

So, next time you tread across a threshold, stop and ponder that you’re doing more than passing from one space to another. You literally stand on the brink of possibility.





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Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley


  1. Olga Pizzi says:

    Thank you, Greg. This was a thought provoking and enjoyable read as always. Your generosity of ideas and insight are like a portal as well.

  2. I LOVE this post. It is everything I love, the styles, the evocativeness of the spaces, and the beauty.
    Thank you SO much !!!

  3. Aaron Chupp says:

    I really appreciated this post, and the designation made for the transitional experience of traversing a portal. I mainly work in commercial architecture, and many of our clients actually prefer the doors to disappear. I believe it is much because their goal to the sell a product and not the human experience of life. I think that life and experience is enriched when details are formed with this type of intention.

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