Saturday, 19 September 2009


After the experience of hands-on construction in Mongolia, where the architecture school to which I contributed marginally has now been sold on in light of the economic situation there, I now find myself supervising a construction site in Germany, as part of a project within a project. The general construction and tiling contractors nominated by our Berlin-based contacts do not seem to have much experience dealing with the fine italian glass mosaics we are using. We want to produce two beautifully but simply detailed model bathrooms in connection with our project for about 80 Loft Apartments in Frankfurt's East Harbour. Although detailed 1:20 drawings were provided, the workers need to be guided through the placement of the tiles, especially the need to begin tiling strategically by aligning the sheet edges in the most conspicuous places, so that any adjustments can be made unnoticeably in less prominent areas. The oversight of entire elements of the building planned -such as a bath podium discussed early in the construction - suggests that drawings alone are not enough, and the exercise of pencilling everything to be constructed onto the walls and floors becomes both meaningful and necessary.