The absence of war is only a truce. Real peace is a deep reconciliation with the world, a free breath in open space. In the balance of protection and freedom, openness and limitation, familiarity and surprise. In such states of limbo, in such border places, that peace arises that transcends personal composure into a comprehensive feeling of happiness. Even the border area between nature and civilization is such a place of happiness. The tamed forest stands for this, providing people with a state of peace, protection and security in a larger whole.
One of the oldest building forms seems to emerge almost directly from the architecture of the forest: the free-standing columned hall, the ancient Stoa. It not only symbolizes the border between nature and civilization, it also makes this transcendental border experience possible. It is always a public space and an elaborate and relatively unhelpful building. It protects from sun and rain, but one cannot live in it.
The concept of the columned hall is not aimed at conventional usability, it is not aimed at an everyday use, but at a general spiritual advantage. And so, through the centuries, the Stoa has manifested itself in various religions, from ancient temples to Christian cathedrals. Furthermore, it lives on in the cathedrals of modernity, in industrial halls and underground stations. In the market halls of traffic, production and trade, however, the columned hall loses its spiritual power, because the new users have downgraded the sacred hall to a functional building. The elemental force of the place, which appears bundled in the Stoa, presupposes the emptiness of the place.
The concrete openness of the building as well as the lack of expectation of those who seek reflection. In this respect, the Stoa lives on as a contemplative centre in every spiritually shaped person, in every artist, in every work of art. To synchronize the work of art, which is directed towards the future, with the architectural memory of the Stoa, which is thousands of years old, is an effort of peace and a spiritual reward. When the great artists of our time create such a portico, they are not only planting trees of peace and reconciliation between peoples, but they are sharing this peace with everyone who approaches this place of sheer humanity.