19 Nov The pride of an architect
After having spent so much time on planning, designing, redesigning and more redesigning it is always thrilling for an architect to see a dream being sculptured in reality, to see that the dream is taking physical forms, to see that the design is not one of these designs that ends up in a digital drawer on the internet.
The joy of being out there, working with the workers, helping, checking, are they really following the plan?
So I traveled to Romania for a few days to witness the start of the work together with Gérard Doedée and Gerrit van de Wouw. Gérard and Gerrit came from Holland, I from Italy. On Wednesday 19th November Lucian Andrei (our construction superintendent) and I went to check the construction site. We found the builders finishing the foundation beams. I told them to not forget to put the waterproof layer under the insulation of the slab, one is always worried about these kind of virtually irreversible mistakes. Without this waterproof layer humidity will creep up the foundation, making the house unhealthy and uncomfortable; as well as its negative effects on any material.
We took an empty tank and we brought it back full of fuel. In the meantime we met the road engineer and the road constructor and together we went to analyze the slopes and radius of the road curves at various points. The engineer asked the road company manager to make the first curve of the road larger, so to have some more comfort when driving this little hairpin.
We measured the dimensions of the concrete slab of the house foundation and the rectangularity of the angles with a nice discussion about Pythagorian law, applying knowledge that had been dusted over since elementary school, now to be simply a must-use tool , in this landscape, in this unique valley; could I have imagined this, back then, in the benches of my school, thinking, when will I ever need this Pythagorian law…?
We had dinner with the road engineer, Cristi Galiceanu, and talked about the master plan and the road: he already has the drawing of the master plan with the position of the road, but some changes will need to be made to the master plan due to adaptations of the road positions necessary due to real landscape limitations. The road is very important because it will integrate the waterpipe for the first house as well.
This new road requires crossing a small stream or a gulley rather. This means a little wooden bridge will have to be constructed. It is a good solution for two reasons: a wooden stream crossing will improve the sensation of the separation between the different parts of the Valley, avoiding monotony and increasing the feeling to enter into a more private area.
Further the new positioning of the road will reduce the number of separated road-stretches and it reduces the total length that is ultimately required. The new positioning of the road reaches the planned houses positions more effectively through more undulations rather than splits. Lucian needs to check who the owner is of the forest tongues that divide the Valley to be sure we don’t have problems.
In short: this was a rewarding day for a humble architect who tirelessly works on computer sketches with always the hope to turn the digital world to something that people can admire in reality. Also Architects have their deep pride…