I have just got back from a week's holiday in Croatia and wanted to draw your attention to the lovely experience I had on the last night of my holiday in the seaside town of Zadar, courtesy of the architect Nikola Bašić.
Post World War II, Zadar was all but devastated. A period of hasty reconstruction left Zadar's seafront resembling an endless concrete wall. Croatian architect Nikola Bašić was enlisted to breathe a little magic into the concrete. He came up with the Sea Organ, a musical instrument built deep into the concrete which breathes and sighs with the wind and the tides.
Since the installation was completed in 2005 it has attracted swathes of locals and tourists alike who are welcomed to sit on it's broad, solid concrete stairs stretching for 70 meters along the front and listen to the random but seemingly orchestral series of harmonic notes generated when the waves pass into the 35 polyethylene pipes installed deep below. When the sea is still the notes are subtle and gentle, as ferries and boats pass and create ripples and waves, more gutsy blasts envelope you.
Most people stay for quite some time, just taking in the sights, sounds and sun, some even put their ears to the holes in the ground to hear all the pipes at once. The Sea Organ provides the perfect soundtrack for sunset and for welcoming the entrance of the moon above.
The Sea Organ won the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006. There is also a wave organ in San Francisco and a high tide organ in our very own Blackpool but it's Nikola Bašić's version which takes the biscuit and any trip to Croatia cannot be complete without experiencing this wonder.
You can read a whole lot more about it here...