Week 102 (Control Room roof framing begins)

In construction photos by Michael Tiemann

With the masons and the carpenters running full tilt, and more trades beginning to participate in the project, the idea that I could write a weekly blog posting with a suitably descriptive title now seems quaint.  Yes, we have begun putting up the rafters on the control room roof, but that tells less than one third of the story of what’s been happening this week.  So instead of trying to make the title tell the story, I should let the pictures do the talking.

The first step of the raftering process was the installation of wooden members into the bent steel beam.  Here’s what was built:


according to this detail drawing:


Here you can see clearly a pattern of alternating bolts that go through holes pre-cut into the steel:


The next step in the process was the establishment of the wall plates that would define the roof as it extends from the Control Room to where it meets the angled walls of the Music Room.  The symmetric pair of facets that run parallel to the control room walls meet the bent steel and the South wall of the Music Room at all kinds of interesting angles, but when the rafters meet up with the respective parallel (to the Control Room) walls of the Music Room, magic happens, and they appear to be a perfectly conventional, and straight, 5:12 roof pitch.  Thus, by establishing those rafters first, which are easiest to cut and measure, the plane of the roof facets can be precisely established, and used later to ensure continued planarity when the angles and joints become more complex.  Here’s the mitered wall plate that provides the “simple” 5:12 pitch (and the rafters that meet it squarely):


And from the outside:


Piece of cake!

And here are the “same” rafters being installed on the East side of the building.  This picture also shows the considerable amount of other activity taking place all at once (the establishment of the 14th and final course of the Annex at the South end and the installation of all but two of the Music Room windows…subjects we will treat in more detail a little bit later):


Once this was done, it was time to start putting up the rafters.  Some of the rafters are short enough to use conventional 2×12 lumber, but for the longer rafters (up to 26′), LVL is required.  Here’s a piece of LVL with a birdsmouth cut into it, waiting to be installed:


And here it is installed, one of a pair of LVL rafters, with a pair of conventional rafters with planarity verified:


And from the inside of the Control Room:


The next day, there was a bit more progress:


And from inside:


Now, if you have a really keen eye, you might have noticed the rafters sit just a bit higher than the top of the bent steel beam.  If you didn’t here’s a detail:


Let’s see how that compares with the drawing:


Looks good to me!  And looking a bit forward to next week, we see that a wall plate has been attached to the south wall of the Music Room.  This plate defines the angle defined when a 5:12 roof pitch intersects a plane at a 60° angle:


And with a bit more context:


It looks like a funny angle because we’re looking straight down the parallel of the angled Music Room wall and the South wall is therefore not “square” to us.  But all the points do converge where they are supposed to.

Now let’s back track a little bit and talk about some of the other things going on this week, starting with the masons.

We started with the Northeast wall of the Studio Annex building up to the 12th course of the outer wythe:


and the laying of the 14th and final course of bond beam blocks on the outer wythe of the South walls:


Here the masons are covering up before yet another expected deluge.  The weather continues to work mostly against us, and we are working mostly against it:


Here’s one way to measure our progress:


That pile was almost depleted before Thanksgiving, recharged two weeks ago, and now half-gone again!

The window columns rise quickly:


Then the forms are built to support the Annex bond beam:


These windows are precisely 4′ high, which is precisely two times the height of the Music Room windows.  The carpenters cleverly saved the forms from the Music Room windows and recycled them here:


Meanwhile the other walls of the Annex rise.  Here the masons are building the inner wythe first instead of the outer wythe, so we can see a side of the construction that will never be seen again:


And then it’s time to lay in the top bond beam over the window forms:


Do you remember that when building the Music Room, each of these aforementioned events would be the whole weeks’ news, and sometimes span multiple weeks?  I’m glad to see that’s not the case here!

Just for fun, here are multiple sections of one part of the bass trap built into North walls of the Annex:


And that’s not all!  When sub-freezing weather made it impossible to lay blocks on Friday, the masons did some “homework” in the shed.  The manufactured a cube of 6″ open bond beam blocks:


And they started working out how to cut RPG A blocks to form the Loggia columns:


When they are happy with the method and the result, they can start cutting these blocks:


Good thing we have a new saw blade!

And finally, the other big news this week is that we move 4000 lbs of windows from the carpentry shop to their place 20′ above the Music Room floor!  Here they are after being delivered:


And yes, though we are “dried in”, there’s water on the floor.  How did it get there?  Perhaps it came in through the windows that are not yet filled:


Or maybe through the doors that are not yet hung:


Yes…it has been WET!  Which has made it MUDDY:


And therefore challenging to get work done.  Nevertheless, somehow the crew managed to hoist these beasts into place:


And so when we get some more cypress for the soffits, we will have a gorgeous match of our materials:


Back to the interior view, looking east:


and see how the windows channel the diffuse daylight when we turn East-Northeast:


Why, it’s almost like the rendering:

Music Room Ambient Light Rendering

Music Room Ambient Light Rendering

Anyway…here’s a vertical image to remind you that there’s a lot of height in these walls:


And this is the pattern cast at sunset on the center top diffuser:


Now everything is covered in anticipation of a winter storm that will either dump rain, snow, sleet, ice, or “wintry mix” over the weekend:


Hopefully Mother Nature will enjoy her lusty romp this weekend and bring us nothing but sunshine and warmer temperatures next week!