Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Back at Hooke park after a weekend at home, Jesse, and Amandine came back on Monday night and Naiara, Eli, William, Simon and Dana followed on Tuesday morning.

And everything is the same - we are cutting and slotting and smoothing and cnc-ing and it all goes fairly well. Apart from the beams that don't really match the flanges and the big flanges that need to be cut by hand and are a pain. We are starting to understand the idea behind 'contingency week'.

7:04 PM 0 comments
Sunday, May 21, 2006

With Jesse, Tessa and Hiro arriving on Thursday, and Charles, Martin, Simon and Evonne on Friday night, we have completed all the tasks we have set up for ourselves.

Charles marked up and cut the humongous flange 0; Martin set up a new script for the cnc machine, and we all worked on the jigs, the cuts, and the shifting of these heavy sheets of timber. The idea is to finish cutting all the pieces , including the legs and the bases and to pre drill for the metal plates.

But first, Sunday is here, and while Charles, Martin, Simon and Dana are leaving for London, the only thing left to do is to sleep in, take a walk in the woods (if it ever stops raining) and maybe work on our portfolio for the upcoming Tables.

And Eli? He went back to London on Saturday. Please come back, Eli…

4:42 PM 1 comments
Thursday, May 18, 2006



It was a very productive day today, despite the fact that we are all feeling soar from all the lifting and the cutting and the rearranging. We first corrected some minor mistakes we did yesterday (Eli doing an extremely rigorous quality-control by re-measuring all the sizes), and re-cut some beams. We almost finished cutting all the pieces for the ornamentation and the big flanges (Eli documenting the entire time) and we even set up the Big Board in the back of the workshop.
The cnc machine is still not working, although the charmed technician had sent in a script he wrote for us over night.

It has been raining non-stop for the past 8 hours, so we decided to stay in and order Chinese (Eli's choice). There seems to have been a mix-up with the order, no need to say who’s the poor guy who didn't get his main dish....

8:50 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, May 16, 2006



We basically moved 8 tons of timber today, and some more, since the plywood also arrived, which had to be unloaded and moved into the workshop.

We also started cutting the beams (not all of them totally accurate) and the flanges (some were lost to the crazy cnc machine that decided to cut the wood to its own liking) but we are confident in our delusional minds that we are actually ahead of schedule.

Although the cnc machine didn't do it's work today, the charming cnc operator who came in to give Charlie and the gang a crush-course in cnc cutting, offered to work on a script for us that will link our Autocad drawings to the cnc beast. No wonder he's working on it tonight, after Amandine charmed him with her lovely peach/tan blouse...

8:11 PM 1 comments
Monday, May 15, 2006

The five of us arrived at Hooke Park today at dusk, to an exploding Spring season. Naiara, Will, Eli, Amandine and Dana, we all squeezed into one taxi from the train station to the workshop, with our bags, drawings, a mock-up of the ornamentation and even some chocolate, wine and cookies.

The timber from FinnForest is already waiting for us to be cut, and after going in details over the drawings set and the schedule Jesse emailed from London, we have devised a work plan for tomorrow and the next few days. The ambitious goal is to cut all the timber until everybody joins us at the end of the week. Now though, the only thing left to do is to go to sleep - we all agreed on a 7.00am breakfast meeting.

11:55 PM 0 comments
Sunday, May 14, 2006

A major push to finish the drawings and the material orders, we are all working throughout the weekend. Today it seemed like the drawing sets are under control. The ornamentation drawings are also nearing completion and yet another mock-up had been assembled.

And the exciting news of the day - WE ARE GETTING THE FINISH JUMPSUITS! The outfits, complete with the new T-shirts we got from Arup, the yellow boots, and possibly hard hats for the site, will turn us into a group of clones, and no doubt, the envy (or joke) of the whole school.

12:37 AM 0 comments
Friday, May 12, 2006

At Arup's last night at 8pm, with pizza and the technical drawings, Charles and Martin went through the different stages of the construction of the pavilion, and yet again, emphasized the importance of the accuracy of the drawings. Some compromises in the design have to be made to comply with health and safety issues. Since the work was not fully completed, new deadlines have been set and the departure to Hooke Park is delayed.

Charlie will receive the first shipment of timber on Monday morning and only a small group will travel to Hooke Park in the afternoon. Amandine, Naiara, Dana, Eli and Will will be the first to set up shop at Hooke Park, and prepare the plates and the CNC machine.

The rest will follow, with probably Tessa and Evonne the last ones to arrive on Friday. Charles and Martin will join us on Saturday and make sure we are still in peace and not in pieces.

10:54 PM 0 comments
Thursday, May 11, 2006


Charles‘ idea of sub-diving the unit into work groups proved successful. Jesse and Amandine are working closely with Simon and Will, and the Details Team implements changes and redraws according to Charles' corrections. We took over the computer lab, although that wasn’t really a problem. It seems that the entire student body had vanished from school so we are mostly on our own with the occasional tutor strolling in.

And the mantra for today – Not getting it done is NOT AN OPTION!!!

5:13 AM 0 comments
Monday, May 08, 2006

Despite the big push to finish the general arrangement and detail drawings, we received a bit of a cold shower today and were sent back to the drafting tables. Hmm, to Rhino and AutoCad, that is. Charles, after a serious meeting with everybody and then a private conversation with Simon, made an executive decision and instructed Simon And Will to take care of the general arrangement drawings. Eli, Nai, Jessie and Amandine will continue with the detail drawings. Tessa and Dana will be working on the fund raising brochure and Hiro and Evonne are taking care of scheduling and orders. Whatever is left from the trip to Finland is now starting to pile up in the photo album and in order to be able to meet the deadline, the only thing left to do is to put those sweet memories aside and concentrate on the construction drawings challenge.

11:10 PM 0 comments
Saturday, May 06, 2006




Wow, now we are famous! The article in BD has come out and the title on the cover page: Serpentine Gallery - Move Over. But with fame comes responsibility. Now we actually have to build the damn thing. A new deadline has been set for Monday, which brings us to a week away from going to Hooke park. All the technical drawings have to be completed and orders of the bolts and cables have to start rolling. We may need to purchase some dark glasses as well, in case the paparazzi starts following us.

3:50 PM 0 comments
Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Day 01

Traveling to Finland, long gone are the days of youth hostels and public transport. We are picked up by a FinnForest rep. and a comfy bus and are acclimating quickly in our individual rooms at the Radisson Espo, over looking the lake. A quick intro at FinnForest’s HQ, we are ready to be swept off our feet by timber constructions and products. And off to Helsinki, for drinks and dinner. Reindeer on our plates, trying not to think too much about poor Rudolf.

Day 02
Early pick up and a beautiful ride to FinnForest's factory. The sun is low (it almost always feels like mid-afternoon, no matter what time it is) and the forest stretches as far as the eye can see. Although no photography was permitted, it was an unforgettable visit. Watching a log being stripped, dried, glued, cut and packed affected all senses. The smell was seductive. The touch was soothing. And off to the forest, were trees are being cut, and replanted. Eli and Tessa in the monster machine and everybody collecting pieces of fresh cut wood. Dinner at the restaurant on the 10th floor, watching the sun starting to go down at 10pm.

Day 03
A sunny, yet cold morning, we are taking an architecture tour through Helsinki’s new and newer buildings. From Aalto’s gorgeous auditorium and library at the Tech. University followed by new housing schemes, and finally, to Steven Holl’s Museum of Contemporary Art. After changing rooms, and meeting loved ones, we continued to a sauna treat with Sami and yet another fantastic dinner at Gastone, one of Helsinki’s best.

Day 04

Vappu – a trip to the fort and despite the fact that it was a “no tourist day”, a visit to Aalto’s Finlandia and the Olympic stadium. Then, with 100,00 of our new best friends, watching the white hat being put on the big statue at the Esplanade and swimming in a sea of alcohol.

Day 05
Before catching the flights back home, a quick stroll to the park, a must with the locals, and a last walk through town, enjoying the sun, the nice people and the last few hours of relaxation before coming back to the load of work and the pending deadlines. After all, we have a pavilion to build!

7:50 AM 2 comments