About This Live Project

The Spires is a community building based on the Arbourthorne council estate to the south-east of Sheffield city centre. The building itself is very distinctive, formed by 13 hexagonal pods each rising to an individual apex. A local Christian charity known as the Miracle Trust are using the building to provide a much needed community support network. The hope is to extend the reach of the organisation and its valuable resource to a greater number of people by improving the public face of the building and providing a clearer connection to the community.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Friday Report - 24.10.08

Friday was a very busy day. The council 's fencing contractors arrived early to put in the gate posts for the new entrance to the site. Then the mechanical digger and dumper truck came and put in a hard days graft, digging out the trench for our proposed log wall and skillfully crafting trenches for the new ramp and hexagonal raised platform. This all happens quickly and pretty soon the trenches are complete and ready fo us to tidy and peg out.

We got stuck in with the digging up of tarmac for the grass island infront of the garages, using spades and pick axe to remove the surface.

Miles makes good use of the theodolite to ensure the foundations will be set at the correct level, whilst Tom and Gooch discuss the finer points of tarmac removal.

The day was exhausting and a lot happened, there is now a definite sign of our work on site, you'd be hard pressed not to notice what was going on. Hopefully the following days will continue in this positive vein and we'll have some real progress on site at the Spires.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Digger on site - 24.10.08

Today we had a digger on site to break the ground and create the trenches for the foundations of the ramp and raised areas. Report to follow.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Marking out - 23.10.08

The Spires, ready for transformation.

Making our mark.

Gooch watches intently, whilst Andrew ponders.

The latest brick delivery.

Tom marks out a revised path.

Discussions are had regarding the path from the gate.

Circle Time

Not a constructive use of our time, but fun all the same.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

T-Shirt Printing

For the 'Let's Break In' event, Gooch and I set about getting the pinkest T-Shirts H&M had to offer. These beauties matched our flyers perfectly but we still had to brand them with 'The Spires Live Project' if we wanted to look like a well organised, approachable team and not just 10 randomers who had embarrassingly turned up in the same garish pink top.

The spray paint we tried initially didn't take to the fabric and produced a faint, diffused blur of white letters. We then hand painted within the stencil; this was blotchy and the paint bled at the edges. The problems of this time-consuming process were compounded when the blobs of wet paint stuck to other parts of the T-Shirts, spreading the mayhem.

With an inspired idea and a teeny-weeny roller we perfected the printing process.

The cost of innovation is high, the first 3 T-Shirts out of our workshop were sort of '3D'; this limited edition run may become highly valuable as the demand for Spires-Wear (c) spirals, though be warned, they are likely to cause motion sickness in sensitive people.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Let's Break In - photo report

The day at the Spires begins at 10am with a litter picking session, the kids get involved and it becomes a competitive activity. This is followed by the chalks being rolled out and the hexagon we layout is soon decorated by drawings of rockets, smiling people and sunshine.

The van returns and we all muck in to unload the first of many block paviers.

A drink and cake break is definitely needed as the pile continues to grow.

Alistair gets to work marking out the area for the new pedestrian entrance to the site.

The lawnmower comes with its own set of problems, but eventually Gooch has the grass tamed.

The last of the 1617 blocks are stored successfully.

Team photo at the end of the Let's Break In event, a brilliant but exhausting start to site works.

Design Team Meeting

The display board, arranged by Alistair and Andrew shows our posters and documenting our design and consultation so far.

The Spires design drawing illustrates our concepts for the public face of the community centre. Key ideas include the creation of a new entrance into the building in a more prominent location adjacent to the street with an associated raised outdoor area, and a log seating wall that runs from a new pedestrian gate to the garage wall and which will enclose a planted courtyard area.

In our Friday morning meeting we talked through our latest design proposals with Alistair, Jenny and John. Working together we discussed further iterations and potential improvements to the design, that included a separation of car park form external pedestrian space and a more refined planting plan along side East Bank Road.

Later that day, we all met with Council Assets Manager, Gary Beatson. We ran through our ideas and described to him our vision for the public face of the Spires building. He was helpful in discussing the practicalities of the work and very positive in response to our proposals.