Tales from the Theatrical Woods: Chapter 13
13 December 2016
“Mud, mud glorious mud”
It’s definitely welly weather down in the woods at West Horsley Place.
Winter poses particular problems for construction: too cold – i.e. below freezing – as it was at the beginning of the month and concrete cannot be cast and blockwork cannot be laid. Too wet, as it has been latterly and mud takes over, clinging to boots like lead weights and forming axel deep traps for unsuspecting JCBs. The good news is that the roofs are now on and the weathering membrane is being laid. The achievement of making the building (relatively) water-tight so early in the construction has only been possible by freeing the superstructure steel and precast concrete from the in situ concrete of the ground slab and retaining walls. The arduous and lengthy process of forming the basement is, thereby, removed from the critical path and can be carried on in the dry under the protection of the roofs and in its own time.
The largest mobile crane in the South East was expensively on site for a couple of days last week to lift the last roof slabs over the building and lay them on the west wing of the stage.
Viewing progress via the time-lapse camera has become very uninformative of late as all it shows now is the inner blockwork skin of the external wall to the auditorium drum. Notwithstanding, a new animated sequence, running from site clearance to the building of the enclosing walls, has been compiled for viewing. The camera will shortly be relocated within the building in some strategic viewpoint and the next animation will continue with the stage by stage construction of the interior. Very shortly the stage and the stalls will be in place and a real sense of the auditorium volume will finally become apparent.
David Lloyd Jones