Lake Alexandrina’s ad hoc settlement

March 16, 2013

Baches at the southern end of Lake Alexandrina retain their ad hoc character, due in part to the ambiguous nature of ownership in this fishing reserve. They were erected on what is now reserve land, at a time when putting up a bach was a more informal affair. As a result, they are now on leases that permit them to remain, but significant renovation or replacement is effectively impossible.

These little buildings display an inventiveness that derives from a time when people built baches in the simplest manner possible, and often with whatever materials were at hand or most convenient.

One of the most memorable features of this area is the little jetty pictured above, whose construction utilises standard modules of steel (angle iron, box section, and flat bar in various permutations) in a very well-composed manner. The simple relationship between the timber jetty and the steel pole in the image below is also worthy of note, for the way in which it sits well within the landscape.

The images of baches above and below demonstrate two examples of how flashes of bright colour appear throughout the settlement. We are interested in how flashes of colour can work as details within landscape work, as well as where they sit within our everyday landscapes.

The idiosyncratic stonework below reminds me of the entry to the holiday house that we have gone to since we were born (elsewhere down south) – which was a threshold that announced that our holiday had truly begun after three days of driving. Its relaxed, naive arrangement is an antidote to the rigid, intensively-designed landscapes that are so often put in at contemporary holiday houses.