Thursday, March 8, 2007

Worn out, but my building looks nice.

I spent six and a half hours roundtrip in a car with my mechanical engineer going to and from Wheatlands, which for the most part was good. My building looks so good, y'all, I can't even stand it.

Here's the deal: it takes a long time to build a building, especially a hospital. Design Associates got the Wheatlands job in the summer of 2004, when we started helping them find a site. I started working on the project in the fall of 2005, at which point Howie and I met continually with the departments of the hospital to figure out how the hospital should look and how the plan should be laid out. We completed the documents on the exterior and structure in the spring of 2006, and the contractor started building it. Documents for the interior was finished in early summer 2006, and that construction began shortly thereafter. This building has been a long time coming. It takes so long to get to this point, and I FINALLY get to see my drawings come to life.

It occurred to me as I was walking through the building today that I drew every single piece of casework in that building. That's seven 30" by 42" sheets...30 walls of cabinets and shelves and drawers and doors per sheet. I drew every room in the building...68,000 square feet of doors, walls, and windows...a label on each wall telling them how to build it...a label on each of about 200 doors telling them what the door looks like, how big the window in it is, if it's rated for fire, if it has closers or smoke seals or is controlled by a push-button or electric eye...every ceiling and light...every chair.... Just about everything in that building, I either drew or had to amend a fair amount when changes were made.

Yes, we architects drink. But sometimes, we drink champagne.


The Wandering Author said...

Pretty impressive. I've never tried designing a building (I wouldn't know how if I wanted to, except perhaps a simple timber framed one) so I don't know how it compares to writing, but if the feeling is anything like the one when you read a finished manuscript, you don't need to drink anything to be drunk... In fact, I told a fellow writer I believe the writing habit would be harder to quit than drugs.

Whatever it feels like, congratulations! Sounds like you've done a great job and are having fun seeing it all work out.

faded said...

No one really understands that a building is a meticulous assembly of myriad details designed to make a cohesive whole. It is very hard work to do this well.

BaxterWatch said...

Thats got to be so cool, to see a project, your first BIG project that you know intimately from beam to carpet come to life. Congrads to you!!!

Take lots of pictures, good ones, to keep in your own personal portfolio so you can put them in your memoirs in a decade or so.


Miss Kitty said...

I like the last two sentences best.