I’ve always hated the term “unnatural.” What is unnatural anyway? Is a house unnatural? Is a plane unnatural? Just because humans make it, that shouldn’t mean that it’s unnatural. A house is no more unnatural than a beehive or a clam shell. All three of these homes were made by animals, so why do houses get special treatment with people calling them “unnatural?”
I really that wish I could banish that word from the English language. I doubt that dictionary editors will let me delete that word from existence, but what I can do is blur the line between natural and “unnatural” landscapes. People often have a very strict concept of inside versus outside. Inside is unnatural with plastic, steel and central heating. Outside is natural with rain, plants, and wind. For a moment, just try to suppress the notions that natural things are different from unnatural things, and that inside is different from outside. As soon as you let go of those arbitrary distinctions you open yourself to a world of artistic possibility.
This pool, for example, highlights how beautiful something can be when you work together with nature rather than against it. The color and texture of the rocks, the choppy blue-green water, and the pool’s proximity to the ocean all promote the idea that the pool is an extension of nature itself.
Or what about this living space? Is it a living room? An outdoor lounge? A swimming pool with particularly pricey furniture? Well, why can’t it be all of the above… or none of the above? Defining architecture and aquascapes in rigid terms inherently restricts you in your design options. What you call this living space doesn’t matter — the only thing that’s relevant is that it’s beautiful.
To be honest with you, I think that some of the most stunning pieces of art come from the fusion of natural chaos and intelligently-directed purpose. Nature is inherently beautiful, but sometimes it can get messy (for lack of a better word) because it isn’t united by a central concept. As soon as you bring a human agent into the picture, that artist or architect can imbue the scenery with a higher purpose by infusing architecture into the living space.
Would you say that this pool is more natural or manmade? The sharp angles and clear purpose demonstrate that this is obviously manmade, but the fact that it was carved out of limestone ensures that the swimming pool maintains a strong connection with nature. If you ask me, I think the pool is no less natural than a rabbit digging out a warren.