March 1, 2005

Progress Report

bldg022805B.jpg Today's progress reoprt will probably be the last one, our neighbors are buttoning up the exterior of their place after nearly a year of construction. And they have a ton of work to do yet in the interior. Notice here the drastic revisions to the design, compare it to the last post.

bldg022805A.jpg What is interesting about this manner of construction is twofold: one, it is composed of a handful of materials, unlike modern technics that assemble a multitude of products, so bewildering... and two, so much of this is so hand made, shaped in mortar-mud and terracotta, a sculptural thing, sculpture closer to Rodin than Alice Aycock.

I point my camera into the courtyard:

backyard.jpg

And I see a guy working a chainsaw:

chainsawguy.jpg

He's using a chainsaw to trim a door jamb. ?Que Rustica!

As an aside, I fantasize about an architecture where you get a construction crew working for months, all the while changing the design and generally driving tehm nuts... and then stopping them three quarters of the way through and sending them home. Then, you bring in another set of fabricators to custom install glass -windows and doors and stuff:

glass1.jpg

A wild hare (hair). Actually, it's something that's occured to me a long time ago, while watching highrises under construction. Buildings are so beautiful in the process of construction. I thought at the time that you could simply change the spec on the curtain walls and make the whole surface transparent glass, revealing all the weld scorches, measurements, notes and roughedges of construction... all the good stuff they try to scrub off for a "good finish" Our neighbors' project makes me realise that you can make more hay if you mess with the construction process, changing the design along the way... more rough stuff.

Another thought farther back was the idea of a construction site where no material or fabrication would be taken off in the finishing of the building. For example, the safety nets, scaffolding, and even the construction trailers would become the final design... not "incorporated into the final design", but it would be a building designed in a way that incorporates the construction process into the final design. Any takers?

Just a thought.

Posted by Dennis at March 1, 2005 3:30 PM

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