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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 7:19 pm by Keihly

Thursday, July 14

Today we are faced with detailing the vision. We have the basic scheme, but there are oh-so-many unknowns. Retaining wall as separator or extension into the landscape? What does leveling the ground mean for a comfortable space? Wall conditions that echo the forest…where does the undergrowth stop..what’s the density of the forest that surrounds?
Other questions that pop into our minds: How do you establish a connected dialog while maintaining individuality? (materials, texture, pattern, opacity) Other strong forest elements that dominate our views are the verticality and repetition, a level of softness and similarity as your eyes near the canopy, shimmering aspen, glittering amongst the ponderosas (that really do smell like butterscotch!)
Today we also measured the site – staking the lines, using the transit for elevations. Remembering those handy geometric equations…how do you measure a right triangle? Oh, yes – a 3-4-5, or in our case, 12’, 16’, and 20’.
. . . . . . .
By the end of the day, we did achieve most of our goals – the backhoe came in to dig the holes, we figured out our foundation details and we finished a wall section mock-up to explain our ideas of a gabion wall system inside the wall. This is the first time I’ve ever built a wall section mockup full scale on the first full day of design work! I love it! Our wall system consists of 4 basic layers (starting from the exterior): 1×6 pine rough sawn vertical slatting, spaced every 3 inches, corrugated metal siding, gabion wall interior, and interior 1×4 horizontal slatting to contain the rocks (found on site – shist, mica, and rose quartz dominating the group.)

We pondered the views – the sitting versus the standing, framing certain elements and thinking of the desired effect.

Tomorrow we prepare for a presentation to the client, and I will be the designated “Maestra” for the day – directing the workflow and making sure people know what they’re doing. Project manager didn’t sound quite as fun as maestra, right?
The coyotes howl in the distance, yes, there is a pack that roams. The near full moon rises, it’s light feels like a street light! It’s perfectly completely quiet…no cicadas, no crickets, no frogs like I’m used to. The grass is soft, though, and the breeze between the pine needles is comforting; sleep comes quickly.


#RAWDakota 2011
Custer, SD


  1. Rex Yau says:

    into the adobe is very very sweet…

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