Monday, 12 December 2011

Riyadh Gates

One of my passtimes is driving around taking pictures of Riyadh Gates.  Riyadh has a lot of gates.  Not the farm gate variety either.

Being a country girl at heart I quite like a farm gate.  My favourite farm gate is the Taranaki gate.  You know the kind made with battens and barbed wire and attached to the uprights at each end with loops of No 8 wire.

I haven't seen a Taranaki Gate in Riyadh.  Hardly surprising.  Farm gates would never do in Riyadh.  People would see right through a farm gate.  Riyadh gates are designed to complement Riyadh living....keeping people out and preventing any view of any female who may reside behind the tall walls.

Yes, we of the tender gender must be hidden behind black in public and every effort is made to keep us just as hidden from any prying eyes in private.

Should a passer-by get a sneak peek behind the imposing barriers via a gate as it opens to allowvehicular passage (and yes each time I pass an opening gate my eyes do turn that way just to see what
the huge, monstrosity of a home looks like behind the gate), villa occupants (ladies) can be rest assured they are safe from view because most homes also have either teeny, tiny windows, or barred, tinted and textured windows covered with heavy curtains so no-one can see in and it's not that easy to see out.

I like this wall because of the greenery. 
Most walls are simply brown and barren.

Hubby and I did consider moving into a villa not so long ago but, after viewing what was available, decided to stay in our one bedroom apartment on the compound.  The idea of living behind 10 foot (sometimes more) walls with very little external space to be utilised for a garden and not being able to see out my lounge or bedroom windows was, quite frankly, making me jittery.

When one is used to a more open environment, walled in living can get quite claustrophobic

Though our compound is surrounded by high walls the internal space is green and open, with little water features, and a tennis court and pool and I can walk around in my shorts and my t-shirt and see the sky.  It's an inner city residence, so it's not as large as the western compounds further out of town where you can jog around the internal perimeter.  Being people who prefer coffee drinking to jogging anyway, lack of running space doesn't really concern us much.

The entry to our compound is a couple of thick-as concrete and metal gates.  Aesthetically not that appealing.  When I drive, or rather am driven, around town, homes that have combined style with concealment functionality do catch my eye.

My friend was in the car with me this day,
so I got to pose in front of the gate as she took the picture.

Noor and Inam are used to me saying, 'Did you see that gate?  I gotta get a picture of that gate.'
They smile, back up and wait patiently as I retrieve my trusty camera from the bottom of my bag, where it almost permanently resides so I can take snaps of the lovely gate.

Here are a few of my favourites to date....

I loved the whole picture of this gate...the tiles, the lights and the trees hanging over offset it beautifully.

A close up

I liked the rope handle details on this smaller entryway.

This has a more Arabic feel...

Here's a more contemporary feel to classic pillars.  The studded criss-cross pattern reminds me of castle gates.

This is my favourite....

Check out them tusks.  I'm presuming they're metal.  One day I may sneak up to run my hands up and down them.  Of course, if you live behind this Riyadh gate, I'm happy to accept an invitation for coffee!

Ka Kite,

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