Thursday, November 02, 2006

Techos/Roofs/Ceilings in Chacala

One of the things that caught my eye when I first came to Chacala was the ceilings of most of the buildings. They were made of thin bricks mortared into low arches between steel beams. Then cement was poured on top (bucketful by bucketful) to make the roof.I couldn't figure out how they made the arches. But during my first visit some guys were making a small building down on the beach road. So I spent quite a bit time time watching their work, from the shade across the road. Knowing nothing about arches, or much about brick and mortar, I was really impressed with what two or three guys, mixing cement by hand on the dirt road could do in a day.

Lately some guys have been putting a new roof on the addition to the house of a local family. In this photo it looks like there is a roof on both the old (laundry and man in orange shirt on the right) and new (women behind blue curtain on the left) sections of the house. In this photo it looks like a solid building but it's just a floorless roofless shell on the left, and a mostly roofless dirt floor space on the right. Most of the old roof on the original building was old metal and that corrugated plastic-looking stuff. Now that's partially removed, and they are working on the new roof on the new side. Which is made of the small arched brick sections. This man is building the arches, one row of thin bricks at a time, between small steel beams. The set of metal arches on the right hold the bricks in place during their placement and mortaring. Then the pressure of the arch holds them in place and the worker moves on to the next row of bricks. At least that's what it looks like to me.
The homeowner and her younger son.
and her older son, an expert bike rider at the age of just-turned-seven.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the ceilings are very interesting, and very lovely. When we were in Chacala last December, I lay in bed and studied the ceiling at our rental unit. It gave a classy touch to a simple room. Thanks for the photos - they add a lot!

La Gringa said...

Very interesting! I haven't seen roofs like this before.