The Last Washer!

The final day

Tuesday 10th June 2014

Today we continued to hang tyres, following yesterday’s problems with this, it was an increasingly hard job. Drilling each tyre in the chain and then bolting them together whilst hung, was precarious with uneven pressures when people were working on particular areas. The bolts, even with bigger washers, could still occasionally get pulled through the hole causing the chain to fall.  We also began preparing the materials needed to fill each tyre for the living roof. In each tyre there would first be a supportive layer of chicken wire, covered by Geotextile, then earth and finally the turf. Once we had enough connected tyres we began to fill each tyre and we used the same system for filling all the gaps around the tyres in the roof.  It was quite shaky working on the roof, carefully trying not to add unnecessary or uneven pressure to the tyres. As the day pushed on we were getting nearer, and the tidy up effort began, the safety fencing was removed, the skyline cleaned and stapled to the DPC for a good final seal.  It was looking good, despite losing an hour to one of the tyre chains breaking, but they do say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, I think it’s the case here.

As the evening progressed earth was added around the base of the dome and the stones. Taking up the last of the earth with only 3 shovels, wasn’t a nice task, some people even resorted to using their hands, but it all had to go to clear the site. Lifting up the tarpaulin we had laid the earth on was an equally unenviable job, underneath it smelt but at least the grass could now begin to recover.  It wasn’t till 10pm everyone finished on site, with final photos, everyone was happy and a lovely meal at Hilt Holt Wood’s hand built Lake House was the perfect end to such an epic fortnight, when Marcin found another washer in his pocket it was funny. But in all seriousness I’m certain the project will leave a legacy, beyond the sun burn, the bruises and the blisters, everyone who took part learnt a lot. It was a really worthwhile experience. So despite all odds, the structural part of Archilove’s experimental project has been completed on time and on budge. So that leaves me with the thank yous, to Marcin for his energy and passion, The University for Funding us, Hill Holt Woods for the site and help, Trevor, for his tools, materials and skills, EMESS and everyone else who helped and made it possible. We’ll see everyone again in September once our dome has dried out and is ready for its layer of plaster.