Fairy Water: column stability

There were issues surround the structural stability of the supporting columns going into the construction. Additional walls and timber members were introduced to improve the structure’s resistance to horizontal shear forces, tying all of the supporting members together into a connected structure. It was also important that these additional walls and timber members are tied into the brick columns during their construction.


(Above) Example of an untied brick wall – the columns had to be demolished and rebuilt to be tied in with the wall. That caused some friction with the bricklayers who were used to simply placing everything on top of each other.


(Above) Timber inserted into the brick columns to improve its structural connectivity on the whole.


Fairy Water: structural stability

The local bricklayer’s typical method of making laying bricks were called into question. There was insufficient amount of mortar placed between the bricks and most of the bricks are vertically connected to each other, but not horizontally. This was a worrying phenomenon observed, especially when there were flooding and mud slide in the area in the recent years.


(Above) Bricklayer’s way of making foundation walls.

Suggestion to place mortar in between bricks.

Fairy Water: timber arrives

Timber for the pavilion were purchased from a nearby town and arrived the next day. The carpenter and us started working on the actual joints of the pavilion inside the Guest House. The finished timber joints could be transported onto site for assembly.



Final timber columns. All timber pieces are made in the Guest House.

Fairy Water: problems with communication

It was difficult communicating with the carpenters and the mock up test, although it did demonstrate the timber joints and techniques, the directions and orientations of the tenon joints were not as we have directed. In other words, the drawings on paper failed as a method of communication with the carpenters. As a result, we moved to build a quick physical model with chopsticks in order to fully illustrate our design. This proved to be an extremely useful tool for designers and constructors to speak the same language.