Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Wall Rocks

I just wanted to be the first (and last.. ) to say that.

All the work on site over the past few weeks has been on the stone wall, the west wall of the Great Room. It has required several stories of scaffolding, and a very large "forklift" vehicle to get the stone up to the higher levels.

Now half of the wall is at full height (about 16 feet), and all nine "windows" have been formed.

In a much earlier post I explained that the window arrangement in this wall corresponds to a group of trees on the site. Below is an image taken from the tree survey; the nine trees in the center (with white fills) make up this group.

The size of windows and trees also correspond (e.g. larger trees are represented by larger windows). Four of these trees are still standing - in the courtyard. The only liberty I took was with the shape. The trees are circular in cross section, of course, but my windows are either squares or (golden) rectangles.

The header over the one door opening in this wall has also been set.

This is the largest header in the house - a two-foot thick stack of 2 x 12's almost 5 feet long. That oughta hold. The mason said he needed the lift to move it.

After a heavy rain, and under overcast skies, this wall looked a bit scary to me. There's something boney about the stone, and the hollow openings made me think, for the first time, of eye sockets in a skull.

Visual allusions to death in this wall are not inappropriate. In early sketches I conceived of it as a large tombstone, a symbol of a death that one must pass through to access the light and life of the house behind it.

In fact this is where the idea came from to build the wall out of granite - the material of choice for headstones.

So there is a paradoxical double-meaning in this wall. On the one hand it is a "westworks", a symbolic shield against all that the sunset represents - death, and the sin and evil that brings it. On the other hand the wall itself looks like death. It's as if in giving itself to protect against demonic attack the wall was deeply damaged, scarred, and killed. And yet it stands. Now we walk through that symbol of sacrificial torture to enjoy the spaces beyond. This wall might be the best image of Jesus in the building.

1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic. I watch houses near me go up practically overnight without much regard to the process, this is much better.