Since the modern era, particularly in America, our landscape has become increasingly specialized. The natural human psyche has been leading us to create places and featured within our landscape that only serve single purposes. A water aqueduct is fenced off from contamination, streets are painted so that only cars can use them, there are buildings specifically to buy food, to learn in, to work in, and none of them overlap. And we all accept these rules and spaces as just the way it is because we like boxing things, patterns, an organization in our lives.
That is why when you see something with “stacked functions” you take notice. It becomes special because it doesn’t fit into the pattern. It’s new and exciting and interesting. One example of this is are the Hot Springs at Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, New Zealand. The natural geysers and hot springs in the area is one of the main reasons the Maori Village is still an active home to its people. The hot springs allow the area to be perpetually warmer than other areas in New Zealand, particularly in the winter. The soil is tangibly warmer allowing the people of Whakarewarewa to grow their own food year round. The springs are also used for commercial and domestic heating, cooking food, and the minerals in the water create nourishing spa baths for recreation.
Not to say that the use of the springs wasn’t abused. Until the 1980s when many wells were sealed over .people abused the resource by digging shallow wells across Rotorua resulting in the decline of stopping of the geysers. However, once they were sealed, the water began to fill once again and the geysers are back in action.
Whakarewarewa has become a major tourist destination in New Zealand where people can experience some of the traditions of the Maori village still there today. As a natural feature that both provides for the people who live there, a major destination for recreation, and an important part of a communities culture, the Whakarewarewa hot spring is definitely a place with “stacked functions” for the many people who enjoy it.