Thursday, December 5, 2013

Are we there yet?

Hello! Once again, we are here to bring you the latest news on Arrebita!Porto.

First things first: on the construction site, the roof is yet to be closed as we need to waterproof the gable wall of the adjacent building. However, with the help of our new partner Envolvente, we managed to install the necessary scaffolding last Wednesday afternoon. At the moment, we are just waiting for the corrugated metal sheets to arrive in order to continue the works. Once we get the work on the neighbour’s wall done, we hope to have the roof completely finished by the end of our stay as Team 7, around the 20th of December – and wouldn’t it make a great Christmas gift for all those involved in the Arrebita network?! 

The Envolvente workers taught the team how to put up the scaffolding

Filippo handing out a scaffolding board
It was difficult to conciliate the scaffolding with the roof structure
The scaffolding will allow us to intervene on the neighbour's gable wall

Also last Wednesday, we had a meeting on site with Mr. Jorge Barros, of Weber. He made an inspection of the building and, based on that, recommended some solutions to repair the façade. For example, the structural problems on the upper part of one of the doorways can be solved by treating the metal reinforcements with a specific Weber product, before applying some structural mortar – also provided by Weber – to repair the concrete.

Mr. Jorge Barros on site with the team

On last Thursday, we met another partner – David Reis, of Pigma – to revaluate the possibility of introducing double-glazing on the old window frames. On one hand, we want to make sure that the house is properly insulated; on the other hand, we would like to keep as many original elements of the building as possible. As such, we are striving to find a solution that will fulfil both aims.

The old window frames are frail and damaged

Since we are working on a new assemblage concept for the A!Box, we arranged a visit to a building with a similar solution on Monday. As she had done with previous teams, architect Marta Campos took us on a guided tour to the building she refurbished nearby the Fine Arts School. We would like to once again thank her for her availability to help out Arrebita’s international teams.

The team during the guided tour with Arch. Marta Campos

Meanwhile, at the office, we got some great feedback on our new A!Box concept from our architecture supervisor, Natalia Solano. Nonetheless, we still have a long way to go in order to complete the design with all the necessary details – and we are now pressured by time, since we have only two weeks left on Arrebita!Porto.

Indeed, the fact that the end of our participation is near is really starting to sink in. Last week, we made the final decision on the selection process for the next team. Then, yesterday, we experienced the first departure of an element of Team 7: Filippo left Porto to go back to his home country, Italy. We already miss you, Filippo!

Before this ‘goodbye’, however, we managed to get everyone together for a proper dinner. Rita and Daniel, our engineering coordinators, kindly offered to host an international buffet at their apartment. José Paixão, Natalia Solano and Alberto, her boyfriend, and Team 7 all brought food to share with the group: clams “à Bolhão Pato”; tortillas; guacamole; camembert cheese; biscuit cake; cheesecake; ... In spite of the variety and abundance of food, the culinary competition had a clear winner: the chestnuts prepared by Daniel. We agree with Rita: you should cook more, Daniel!

The night ended with a great game for architects and engineers: each player had to move their colour-coded columns from the board to the upper slab, while keeping the whole structure stable. In between the psychological plays, the trembling hands and the inevitable collapse of the structure, it was great fun! 

Alexandra carefully plotting her next move on the game

So, all in all, we feel like we are already running towards the finish line - but we are not quite there yet. We are in high spirits and we hope to take advantage of this final fortnight to achieve two main goals: to finish the roof and to deliver the final design for the A!Box.

Until next time, Arrebita!Porto.

No comments:

Post a Comment