we have walls

16 02 2011

After several false starts, my cousin-in-law (Ric) and I finally met up at the gallery on Sunday to start constructing the gallery walls.  After surveying the site, discussing the plans, drinking coffee, and some general natter, we started building at 2pm.  

Ric owns a business that specialises in pre-fabricated concrete composite walls (www.casafico.com).  The walls are 90mm thick (the same as a normal plaster stud wall) and have an inner core of polystyrene and an outer shell of concrete sheeting.  The sides are reinforced with steel and each 600mm panel weighs 27kg. We used sixteen of them. These walls are the perfect gallery walls.

We started by securing steel channels to the floor and to the outer walls.  The wall panels were then slotted into position and secured with a second steel channel that also acts to cap the top of the wall.  All of the panels were securely screwed into the top and bottom channels and expanding foam was sprayed between the panels to further strengthen them.

We worked for seven hours straight and at 9.05pm we were ‘politely’ asked by a neighbour to stop working.  The good news is that all three of the internal gallery walls are now up, and the space feels like more of a ‘gallery’.  We still need to finish off the third wall and install a door; and then all of the walls need to be rendered (smooth) and painted.  Hopefully we’ll have this done during the next three weekends.  You will notice that the walls do not go all of the way to the ceiling (they are 2200mm high).  I did this for two reasons.  1. To allow daylight to travel into the entire space; and 2. To ensure that the ceiling-mounted airconditioning can still be effective! 

As my planning application is still trapped in its red tape, there is no rush.

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