After a brief pause, the Wilkinson family and I were back on the job this week. Building off the floorboards on the first floor, the walls that reach up to the long gable of our roof line soon appeared. Once the top plate of the front wall was in place, the shape of the house could be seen for the first time.
In the photo here you can see this gable line from the inside, with seemingly three doors below it. However the right hand opening is actually the top of our tall staircase window - the well in front of it is boarded out with scaffold boards for obvious reasons. The door in the middle will take us through to the conservatory at the centre of the building, which gets built later on because it is not part of the insulated envelope and so not part of the timber frame. And the door on the left is our bathroom door. The high wall on the left is our double height bookcase. There will be a gallery to give us access to the upper level but it's all part of the same space. It will be amazing, I think, though Pat, the oldest hand in the Wilkinson team and father of Adam and Reuben, scoffed and said that books were redundant and we should have an enormous screen in the space instead. Not a bad idea.
The top lift of the scaffold is at roof ridge height, which is a tad scary but provides amazing views. As we have chosen to build a relatively small house, only two and bit storeys, we will not be able to enjoy these views later on. So we are making the most of them now - this selfie is of me, Ford and the lovely Hari at the highest point, with the landing/study/library behind us,
As our house takes shape, the proto-terrace we are part of is also taking shape. Coincidentally, as we emerge next to Tree House, another house is appearing on the other side of the glass Slip House, courtesy of our friends Simon and Katie. It's going to be an extraordinary terrace when its complete: Aalto-inspired, organic modernist Tree House, the Arts and Crafts fantasy of the Orchard, uber-minimalist Slip House and its companion, designed by the same architect, immediately beyond it. There is, however, a gap in the middle, between us and the Slip House. One day this will be developed too, bridging two houses with diametrically opposed styles. But let's not worry about that just now.