Saturday, January 21, 2012

Building Double

Last year we built a pyramid shape dry stone wall with a Gothic arch entrance. The sides were battered and the stones were slanted at 45 degrees to the vertical quoin stones of the opening. It was to be one of two triangular gable ends of a 24 foot by 20 foot greenhouse folly. It looked quite stunning when it was done. See  Lending A Hand 

We came back this winter to add the second wall. 

While the first wall was a unique design and difficult to imagine how to tackle the structural elements ( including the setup of workable batter boards and string lines, learning the parameters of building 'on the bias' and working with the layered schisty material) it was even more challenging to build the second wall. 

The duplicate wall (unlike the original) had to be aligned accurately to the other wall. The dimensions had to be copied, not just dreamt up, as with the first. We had to follow the placement and symmetry of every quoin stone, keep the uniformity of the original proportions and come up with a similar look using some remaining material that we hadn't used previously, in order to make it look the same.

The end result is looking pretty satisfying. The reward for our efforts is that the visual impact of the structure is more than the sum of two walls, even though the first wall looked quite impressive standing on its own.