In the beginning of Aril we were simultaneously finishing the east workshops while digging the foundation for the west workshops.  Our months of hard work collecting glass bottles and assembling glass bricks paid off in our first glass brick facade ever!  The bottles were laid in place according to our design using a mud/cement/lime mixture.  The wood form has been taken out and we are now waiting for the metal window to be installed by our door+window fabricator.  We are happy with how the design turned out and are busy getting the bottles ready for the next classroom.  Our interns from Europe and volunteers from Australia were very helpful in the entire facade process. Here you can see Gerson inserting the final keystone, a turquoise bombay saphire!  Days after the facade was complete the doors were also installed.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the site, the West workshops were just being born.  Once the site was cleared we transferred the plan dimensions onto the ground, dug 2′ trenches and filled them gravel.  We also poured concrete footings at the doorways laid one course of tires filled with gravel. This type of “fluid” foundation will allow the tire structure to move with the earth in the event of an earthquake, and filters all moisture down away from the floors.

With the foundation complete we moved onto starting the first course of rammed-earth tires.  To make building the tire wall go more smoothly we transported all tires to the site and pre-cut the blocks that will be used to fill in spaces where a full tire doesn’t fit.  To further speed up the tire packing process all tires were sorted by size and dirt pre-mixed.  All the dirt that was excavated in February is finally being put to good use!  Now, with all the components in place we were ready to turn our tires into the walls of a workshop.