The walls are well underway!
About two months ago we began work on the back wall of Aranya’s farmhouse, which is where the cafe will be initially operating from, before moving into the actual cafe building. A lot of mud has been mixed, applied and levelled since our last update and the pace is going well because we’ve had lots of help from some great people. A big thank you to you all!
As we mentioned in our previous post, we are using glass bottles for structural and aesthetic benefits, helping both brighten up the farmhouse and ensure the walls hold a better shape over time.
The mud mixture is levelled over from the previous application and bottles are spaced about 4-8cm apart, with enough mud to fix the bottle in position. It is a slow process but a pleasant one. …Well, we think so anyway.
This procedure takes place over and over again, making sure each layer gets enough time to dry out before the next is done.
Both glass and plastic bottles are great materials to work with. They can be used for insulation, temperature maintenance, structural support, forming bricks, improving lighting, and much more. Check out this inspiring handout about glass bottle building by Building Trust International, a UK based NGO ‘Building with Bottles’.
We have bought around 2,700 bottles from the local bar for 1/2 rupees each and the rest have been collected from ‘here, there and everywhere’.
The bottom of the wall is wider to provide structural support and improve the long-term durability of the wall against slight land shifts and weathering forces. In the last month we’ve managed to expand the wall out from where the temporary metal rails are, making a corner and a new left wall.
When Raja first moved to the village, in 2012, he managed a small plot of land on Dharti farm, just down the road from Aranya. Whilst at Dharti, Raja constructed, along with others, a rammed mud farmhouse for everyone on the farm to use. The reason we mention this is because Aranya’s farmhouse is taking on a similar design, created through almost the same approach, so it can provide you with a clearer vision for Aranya’s finished look.
Over the coming months we will be posting all of our progress, so keep checking in or simply subscribe to our blog through the home page.