Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Upward ...

Fac ut gaudeam. - (Make my day.)

'Modern' Latin Proverbs



Another swift visit to Joana, our Arquitecta, to ratify and, in some instances, clear up one or two design issues. We have been exchanging floor plans at a rate of at least one a day, sometimes up to four, all in the interests of moving things forward speedily.

We don't lack enthusiasm for this project, but it is refreshingly agreeable to know that SHE is pushing US to "get a wiggle on!"

PDF's have been received, amended and returned several times, but there is no substitute for a one-on-one (one-on-two in our case) to thrash out the minutiae. The big stuff is easy to see on paper, but it becomes essential to discuss the apparent trivia.

"Why do we need this wall here?"

"Because the mezzanine noun:

1. first or lowest balcony
2. intermediate floor just above the ground floor

floor will end up at ground level if you take it away!"

"Oh, I see."

And so the discussion flows. Back and forth, back and forth. Very productive. Very sociable. Especially since the coffee is 'on tap' and a surreptitious ashtray (her establishment is considered 'public') is produced for our convenience. "Foul habit!" I hear you cry. Forgive me if I respond with "Ascendo tuum!" Up yours!

I don't see mention of the chimney I specifically asked her to retain, despite the fact that she warned at an early stage that she was renowned for NOT saving chimneys. I want my freakin' chimney and since I am paying I expect to get what I want!

The shrewd arquitecta rummages around in her desk drawer and, with a 'cat-got-the-milk' smile on her face, fishes this out and presents it to us ...


Joana's preliminary vision of the end product. Notice that all the walls have been raised and that 'dormers' have replaced chimneys. - (click on thumbnail for larger image)


It dawns on me that I am on a loser here. I have always accepted that I don't know much about women, but it appears that I am equally ignorant about architects. Make that a woman architect and you begin to understand my total capitulation.

The frontage (in fact, the whole edifice) has been raised by about a metre and a half. This allows us to insert the mezzanine floor on which will be placed several bedrooms and bathrooms ('restrooms' for you lot across the pond). In the little houses as well as the larger one. The chimneys have all disappeared. In their place are 'dormer' windows. Makes sense, as they will serve the bedrooms on the mezzanine. And all these changes continue to retain the 'look' of houses in the region. Which, of course, was what I demanded in the first place.

I am sure I can find something to whinge about.

But nothing springs to mind just yet ...

back to the top



Lee said...

Wow, Terry! It's looking good. Does no chimneys mean no fireplaces? Darn...those are so romantic. Where is that woman's heart?

This is getting exciting!


PS - Question...does Portugal get hurricanes much? Sorry, those things are on my mind constantly lately.

Fletch said...

Hi Lee.

Didn't know you were following the saga!

The fireplace is still under consideration, but its actual placement is proving problematical. It will almost certainly be a simple 'wood-burner', and might even go into a corner.

It isn't going to be necessary to have a back boiler fireplace because the water is going to be heated by solar panels - obligatory with all 'new' builds in Portugal.

Hurricanes aren't our main concern; earthquakes are! You can Google the great Lisbon earthquake of just over 150 years ago for the info. I intend to do a 'Picture Essay' for the Portal.

Lee said...

Yes, I'm following this. You sent me the email that I was welcome to read. This is now one of the 10 tabs that open as home page in Firefox. Maybe the email I sent when you first sent me this link didn't reach you.

Solar panels? Sounds like Portugal is going green. :)


Fletch said...

Ah! Going Green, indeed!

Wonder how soon before governments find a way to tax the sun?

But the ability to generate and store 'power' from that apparently free source (different type of solar panels) and then feed the excess back into the national grid appeals to me.

"OIL, what's that grandpa?" I can hear future generations asking!

Shrinky said...

My lil' sis has a woodburner, I'm sold. Seems a lots been happening since my last visit.

Fletch said...

Wood-burner fireplace AND solar-powered central heating. Can't wait for really old age to set in!

I'll probably live to regret saying that ...



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Here's a toast to your health.

"Lang May Yer Lumb Reek!"
(Scottish for 'long may your chimney smoke')

or if you prefer,

"Bottoms Up!"