Friday, November 1, 2013

Concreta, Carpentry and Chocolates

All the time and hardwork put into preparing Arrebita’s stand for Concreta paid off: the exhibition allowed us a unique opportunity to promote the project not only amongst construction companies but also with the general public. Indeed, the four days we spent in Exponor proved to be as intensive as the preparation tasks, with little idle time left in between talking with all the visitors. We were excited to verify that many people had, by now, at least heard the name “Arrebita”; and it was a true pleasure to testify their curiosity about the project.

We established new contacts with some promising companies, while also promoting the partners already attached to the project. It was a great networking experience – and the fact is that Arrebita is, in essence, a network: a network made out of many partners, all working together to revitalise the historical centre of Porto.
Our stand in Concreta, full of visitors

In view of the long hours dedicated to Concreta, we got Monday and Tuesday off. However, this “shortened” week still brought us plenty of things to do.

First, we tried to put up the Concreta canvas in the walls of Arrebita’s storage room – all ten meters of it! We had to shorten its height in order for it to fit but, since we did not want permanently damage it, we ended up by having to fold, iron and tape the bottom 40cm. We then taped the whole canvas to the wall and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, and in spite of all our efforts, by the next morning it had already fallen off the wall… Perhaps we’ll give it another try next week!

Ironing a ten meter canvas - quite a challenge, no?

Meanwhile, on the construction site, the wood structure for the roof was finally built up. In fact, and after some unexpected delays, this task was completed in a single afternoon by our carpenters. Now that the works are picking up speed, we hope to start laying down the roof tiles by the end of next week.

The wood structure for the roof is up!

Finally, this Friday morning, we also got a very special visit from a Dutch committee interested in understanding the mission and operational model of Arrebita. Our visitors work for the Ministry of Environment and Infrastructure in the Netherlands and their task is to research the causes of the decline of population in city centres. Instead of a presentation, we had an informal conversation in the office before taking them to visit our building in Rua da Reboleira.

Meeting the Dutch delegation at the office

While Rita was leading the Dutch committee in a guided tour to the building site, we casually started talking with a tourist family that was passing by. Once Alexandra realised they were from Sweden, she immediately took up the chance to put her Swedish language skills into practice. Coincidently, the father was an architect, so he was quite excited to hear about the project and visit the site.

We said goodbye to our new international acquaintances – both Dutch and Swedish – and we headed back to the office for a meeting with our engineering and architectural coordinators. We have our work set out for next week: reviewing some technical issues of the project, changing the groundfloor structure from metal to wood, and taking care of everything else that will eventually come up. On the bright side, we now have something to help keep our spirits up – delicious chocolate offered by the Dutch delegation:

A nice detail from the Dutch: the chocolate boxes spell out "Obrigado" 

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1 comment:

  1. Save me a chocolate, please! It can be the "R" :)