Notre Dame Build
Two weeks ago a group of architecture students from Notre Dame came to mass out a small cottage with us. Our goal: to complete the brickwork with only apprentices and ND students laying the brick. Chapman sidelined himself (perhaps the most impressive part of the build) and provided support and teaching throughout the process. For the folks keeping score, that amounts to a crew consisting of two actual masons and eleven other folks, most of whom had no experience with construction. So, as you look at this brickwork don’t lose sight of the fact that most of it was laid by unskilled gumption!
Yesterday, we met our goal. Reaching that goal was never a given though. Sure, we could have quite easily prepped and staged the process to ensure a “victory”. But those victories never ring true. A story of assured success is hardly worth the telling. So, we rolled the dice and bet the success of the project on a group of students that, save one, we had never met before. When they arrived there was a foundation in the ground and brick in the yard, and that was about it. From day one the students met the work set before them head on. Learning to mix mortar, throw brick, scaffold up, and lay brick as they went. I am not confident that many other groups could have risen to such a challenge and done as well. What an honor to work alongside people who possess such a drive to design and build well.