| By Elba Rodriguez |
In the month of April we had six contractors working alongside to complete the first stage of works around the house. Two of the contractors have completed their tasks. An access road to allow circulation and parking of heavy vehicles was created. The work on the guttering system in the roof and the woodwork for protection of the interiors was also completed. In the inside, the demolition team has been knocking down interior walls and ceilings. The carpenters have removed all windows and will soon start the installation of refurbished and new windows. In the outside, it has been thrilling to see that after chipping away the old plastering the masonry team found several 17th century arches in the east wing of the building. The arches will become visible again and will be contrasted with a natural reddish hue restored façade fitting to the 19th century. The selection of appropriate materials from local sources is crucial for the historical conservation of this building. Very soon there will be more contractors working on the inside of the main house and there will also be mobilization of the teams that will start work on the barn (future conference centre) in the month of May. During the renovation process a team composed of members of the design firm DP Architects and WCCM are regularly holding meetings and visiting the site to assess the progress and check the quality of the works. The impact on visits and accommodation will continue for several months but we are carefully planning each stage and ensuring that meditation in Bonnevaux remains a pivot point of the active and contemplative life of the place. Meditation is offered three times a day: morning meditation in a provisional house for the community and midday and evening meditation in the chapel. The spring season has enhanced the internal and external beauty of the place. In addition to the construction activities it has also been a joy to see that the work of volunteers with the gardens and greenhouse are well advanced. A variety of plants have been carefully placed in the sunken garden and the planners are now looking into the next phases of the project.