Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Studio greenhouse at TracyVille

2 months ago Tracy Lewis asked for a new building in her garden after a few days of dismantleing and digging all the designs I was thinking of were boring so I decided to make something I never did before .
Scale model 1:100

Reciprocating roofs are self supported structures the most famous is the one used in roundhouses , but there was no possibilities for a roundhouse as the space in between the path and the fence was more like a triangle and there was a massive glass south facing already in place. So looking on internet I saw a chinese bridge also a reciprocating structure and then made a model based on the surface I could use and the front glass it was a very strange shape. Then I decided to make a real scale model and test it , I just got a load of 2 by 4 from Mariela Bocanegra .
With the model and the test placed in my workshop I invited Tracy to take a look and she fell in love with the idea .
The real scale model test Mike couldn't wait to go up , it did feel really strong.
In a matter of days Mike , Guy and Me where installing the roof structure in Tracy's garden it was pretty straight forward as I had practised a lot with the other models in two days we were working under a nice shade and the structure felt very strong thanks to some hardwood off cuts from a nearby timber yard all for free.

The walls of the old structure and the two long windows where the last ray of light will fade in summer.
The next step was the two side walls one was going to be hay bales but it was really  thick so Me and Mike decided to reuse the walls of the old structure to close one of the walls it was on me how to finish it.

Ana sticking together the bottles 
The other wall was going to be Cob and glass bottles . I was cutting bottles with a tile wet saw very easy, only had problems with australian wine bottles they were very thin .

I made some test to see how were the colours of the bottles then decided to mix clear and coloured glass to get more shades it was looking good . So the bottle wall got started.
The Cob was drying very slowly and after a few days it was very hard , Guy the expert in cob said that it was a very good mix I also kept a sample of each batch to see how it would dry .

One morning I was wondering what could fit in this bottle walls and then saw this massive round oak frames Mike salvaged from somewhere and placed one on top of the half raised bottle wall , it did fit .

From now on Tracy is calling the studio The Owl . It actually does look like an owl.

The metallic flashings ara steel and aluminium  beer cans 
With the owl theme some feathers are needed so there is the plywood cladding .

The interior wall was taking shape as well but I needed some more wood so I took my postman bike for a ride around town and found gold , had to come back walking with my bike loaded with 5 metre long planks .

Shelf made out a piece of old ship and mirror from a slice of a roten tree.
In the evening we went to get some more clay and I went to the beach where I got an old piece of weathered wood probably from the wreck that can be seen in the horizon sometimes Tracy said it was a ship full of horses . I have started the decoration before the building is finished I can't help it!!!

A washing machine door glass what a find !! It is a shame it didn't have the hinge or frame .

The three front side windows made out of glass from a display cabinet was a really ingeneered work thank to the rain that was giding me on the leaky bits everything worked out
After a week or two of 40 mph winds and rain finally could start with the lime render

The lime did stick to the glass bottles incredibly well , unlike cement that washes off as it doesn't bond to glass.
I have started the interior making the bed and finishing the walls .
Ana mastering lime render.
The wood was treated with a mix of natural oils and waxes the smell was wonderful .
Ana has started the last bits of lime render it is incredible how lime sticks to wet cob certainly those materialsl are made for each other as Guy the cob expert said .


  1. Hepa Leo..!!!
    Valla lujazo de cobijo recycling que te curraste....
    Me encantó volver a ver las imagenes que estimulan mi imagenacción ....para que tal vez un día yo también pueda auto-construirme una.....
    Espero disfrutes este año en ese pueblo de encantó donde nos conocimos, y puedas dejar ahí también algo de tu huella creatiba....
    Un gustazo haberte conocido y si el viaje se me para en la Gomera...??? allí también tienes-is cuartelillo..... Un Abrazo pancho

    1. muy bueno okay okay okay me encanto soy restaurador de obras de arte (imagenes religiosas)pero tambien me encanta reciclar saludos desde peru

  2. impresionante...
    no es solo tu enorme capacidad autodidacta si no la fuerza de materializar suenos
    no careces de nada.

  3. Mil gracias por compartir tu sueño hecho realidad

  4. Amazing! Thank you for sharing !

  5. Formato final maravilha, e a mistura de reaproveitamento descartados e demolição foi muito bem dosada, parabéns! podendo venha sem medo de ser feliz ao meu site:
    Espero tenhas uma boa leitura, como tive aqui!

  6. Such a beautiful textural patchwork! Very artistic , and practical reuse. I really like the owl vibe, the big round eyes, and the round coloured transparent feathers. What does it look like now? Do you have any more updates?

  7. Que ingenio! Cuándo vienes por México? Vivo en una montaña con demasiada humedad cómo funcionará la cal?

    1. Leonardo Alvarez30 August 2020 at 14:37

      Cuando se pase este rollo me paso por ahí jajaja

  8. Hola Álvaro
    Me encanta! Esta estructura es exactamente lo que me gustaría construir para tener un taller. Me ayudas? Estamos en Tenerife --->