Railings and Transparency

This week, the goals were to lift the railings and nine-foot frames into place, and secure them to the other screens or walkway. Before that could happen the team spent a couple of days making sure that everything was level and plumb to each other, so that when those smaller screens went up, there wouldn’t be as much adjustment needed. Right after the screens were adjusted to the right position, the team made formwork out of 2x6s that facilitated pouring the grout under the footing plate. Having three to four inches of grout below the plate, allowed the adjustment of the overall structure, before the grout was poured. Ensuring all perforations lined up.

After the footing plates were grouted and formwork removed, the Horseshoe Farm Fellows helped fill in the trench along the neighbours building, with the pile of dirt that had been previously excavated from the trenches. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of that mound was mixed with bricks from the collapsed structure that used to inhabit the courtyard. Luckily the team can re-use those brick for the “rug” that will be the ground surface between the tall screens. The trench was filled about halfway up, the rest to be filled with soil for the vines later on.

Screens attached to walkway

The smaller, nine foot screen eases circulation from under the walkway into the “active space” that sits before the stage porch, which also has nine foot screens. These screens are made up of a single galvanized frame instead of the standard two. Mainly beacuse it doesn’t require the cavity in the middle for planting, the vines will reach from the neighbouring screen and to reduce the amount of material used.

During transportation and the galvanization process, some of the screens got bent. Most of the damage was decreasing the four-inch gap between the frames. In order to fix them, the team used a car jack to bend the frames back into place. Another important thing to keep in mind when galvanizing metal, is that the finish quality is largely dependent on how well the “trash” is cleaned once the metal comes out of the plant. The trash is galvanized clumps or residue that sometimes remains on the metal when hot-dipped. Some of the larger chunks can be removed by using a grinder or by tapping the edge with a metal chisel and hammer.

Dr.Dorsey standing on walkway seeing railing for first time
Shortly after railings were installed, Dr. Dorsey came out the walkway. Here he is talking about the impact the walkway will have on the second floor once it is finished.

During the design process, one thing that was important for us was that while this walkway is nearly six-foot wide, and eighty-feet long, we wanted the material to be translucent. Something that read as being light. While the grate itself is quite heavy, the gaps between the bearing bars provide this effect when the light hits it. Creating beautiful shadows on the textured brick wall. Another effect the sun has, is when it touches the walkway structure, the gap between the walkway bracket and the plate is highlighted, at every connection point.

Looking up at the corner screen
South-East coner of tall screen. This image shows the bolted connections that disappear when looking at the frames straight on.