Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Are We Here Yet?

Bridgton Academy humanities outdoor classroom I designed
modelled on a tower remnant with a breach in the
wall through which runs a dry stream
I look to PLACE In both my brick oven building and my landscape design.  Paul Gauguin named one of this most famous paintings: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? 

I add to this: Are We Here?  
My meaning goes to how we design and build.  Shall we acknowledge the present and give respect or perhaps echo the past?  We may do this structurally, narratively, or historically.  At best, we can do this all three ways at once.
So years ago, I was asked to build a large brick oven for Pietree Orchard in Sweden, Maine.  I would also be building the stone building that enclosed the oven.  The owners wanted most of the stone to come from the property and since New England farms and orchards historically cleared many tons of rocks from the fields, this was easy (except for the sheer weight).

The project progressed from the initial building of the oven dome to the structure that would enclose it.  Some work could be done with machines; other work needed smart use of muscle and levers.

The result (judge for yourself) is a building that appears to be old, AND will outlast all the other structures.  It is fired up in early May and does not cool down until after Christmas.


Nearing the top of the back wall.

Warming or bread rising space

The oven, the moment before the first firing.

The attached stone building with chimney

The finished oven in action

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