It’s going to be a long story. We will publish them in several articles. This will be the first. It is the story of a dream of a single mother in Spain, of a desire to live close to nature with animals, and it is the story of its fulfillment, in times of violence and strife in Europe. It is a symbol of the power of a community to focus on the well-being of its members and to get involved for good. Food is the means of life.
As you can see, they see nothing. No buildings, no sculptures, no art, no chickens, just nature, which had temporarily reclaimed parts of the finca.
Four years earlier, Iris and Kai from Hanover had set metal posts for the chicken coop. After that, the construction site rested and we only occasionally deposited building materials. Clay stones and an iron door patiently awaited the start of construction.
The shepherd’s old shelter was almost invisible. Only the column that had been started and the concrete beams for a new roof construction protruded above the tall grass.
As a beekeeper we need to use part of the color garden as a storage. Beehives, tools, wood… large parts of the Color Garden are a space of possibilities. What amazes many visitors is the apparent disorder, the creative chaos of the artists. One factor is always underestimated. The seemingly disorganized storage of materials fuels the process of creative problem solving. Beyond public funding and without sponsors and patronage, we have to create many solutions from the recycled resources.
Logistics is a very important factor in site organization. Access roads, intermediate storage. All of this needs to be well thought out. The upcoming construction site requires good planning. The materials are heavy and therefore difficult to move, and unnecessary multiple movements cost a lot of time and energy. This organization is difficult for many lay people to understand and it requires experience to recognize its importance.
Then the grass was cut with a brush cutter.
More building material was collected. Among other things, the remains of drainage pipes for drainage were brought under the floor slabs of the chicken coops that were still to be produced. These come from a construction site in Germany and had waited 18 years for a meaningful use.
Tree care offered itself before the actual construction began. The wild olive trees are still waiting for later refinement. Now a strong pruning was announced.
The dog Lulu is managing the scene.
The excavation for the strip foundations represents the first actual start of construction.
For the foundation, concrete blocks were brought in for living formwork (formwork that will later be part of the structure).
The stones were stored close to where they would later be used to facilitate the work.
Rubble to fill up the subsoil was approached. Hard-working helpers from Germany and Spain lend a hand. A social sculpture is a social activity where people can have a special experience. The “Gallinas de Amor” project goes back to Francesca’s desire to keep chickens in the Color Garden. Familiafeliz as a “facilitator” provides the resources and organizes the infrastructure.
There is an agreement with local construction companies that they can dump construction waste on the finac. We then look for valuable building material and the construction companies later drive the rest away to the dump. This saves you money, because disposing of rubble is expensive. And we receive valuable materials free of charge, natural stones, old clay tiles, ceramics for trencadis…
The rubble has an important function. It reduces the volume of the concrete slab to be poured. It creates cavities for ventilation under the concrete slab and allows the drainage pipe to collect moisture from under the concrete slab and release it to the outside.
About 70% of the work on a construction site is accounted for by the preparation and follow-up of the actual work.
After two hours in the early morning, the concrete slab was ready as the foundation for the first chicken coop.
In times like these, when many people are losing their social contacts, it is a joy and a zest for life to achieve goals together. This foundation weighs over 7 tons, houses a message in a bottle for the future, and will become the base of the new chicken coop.
Thanks to Antje, Corinna, Dilan and Kim. And a big thanks to Francesca for the tireless work in the sun and the strength to make this dream come true.