Our first report to you was on Nov 5th, and the second on Nov 19th.
Between then and now, we've done exactly what we mentioned we wanted to do in our Nov 5th report : the flooring of my room, the room next to it (basically the South-West block First Floor) and (drumroll!), the upstairs toilets!!!
The toilets upstairs: People at Tomatis don't have to go downstairs to pee anymore! Very recently finished, just today we got two comments from users about how beautiful they are. They are very simple and zen, yet very elegant. The women's toilet (like the men's downstairs) is full of light. The men's toilet has lovely colours.
The lime paint done by Selvam and Kadhir (based on the traditional kaddukai nut fermented and then mixed with the lime) turned out to be an absolutely beautiful colour. We are so happy to have found this alternative to paint... anyway, you shouldn't paint lime at all, because that cuts off its possibility to breathe. Well, with lime paint, the lime keeps breathing! They've also painted the worker's room outside with the lime paint and it looks absolutely gorgeous. We don't need to use that eco-paint anymore, we've found the solution for the lime paint, thanks always to Tapas and her ingenuity. This means, we can keep maintaining our building with lime!!!! The ecological alternative to paint!
My room and the room next to it : Finished in time for my birthday on the 01.01.20. What an incredible present! Tapas did this as a Yantra > a sacred Indian geometric design. We got pinkish granite slabs (the cheapest we could find and also the largest), along with blue oxide for the spaces in between, and orange for the "egg"/oval shaped centre, bounded by a copper strip. It is absolutely beautiful as well as powerful. It is incredible how the floor transformed the entire room! Several Tomatis adult clients have mentioned how well they feel inside. I do all the consultations there now, and also find that working has suddenly become so concentrated. The Yantra clearly has a deep effect. The granite is also cool.
This is a bit lame, but, I don't have pictures since my iphone storage is totally full. But we will post some pics soon.
We couldn't yet work on the shaft as wished though Tapas has been planning that with the carpenter, Iyyanar. We're going to do price shopping for the glass. They are planning to search for teakwood (much stronger) for the frames of the internal shafts.
Meanwhile, did you know about Transsolar? This world-famous climate engineering company based in Stuttgart Germany, with offices in the USA, Paris, etc, took on our building project pro-bono to study our climate-based solutions in their "Transsolar Academy".
We are featured on their website : https://transsolar.com/projects/auroville-language-lab-all!
Thanks to their help and guidance, and also help from CSR (Auroville Centre for Scientific Research), we set up temperature and humidity-measuring sensors in various parts of the building and every two weeks data is downloaded and sent to Transsolar by Raj and Mano. This study will go on till May.
We are also listed in their projects here : https://transsolar.com/projects/filter:in-progress
We just found out that The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which was a gift from Portia de Rossi to her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, has a building based on sustainable architecture. https://theellenfund.org/the-campus
Guess who they partnered with for the climate engineering aspects? Transsolar!!!
We were featured in Transsolar's June 2019 Newsletter (https://us16.campaign-archive.com/?u=07a9649c04f2d4b3b5a2e3475&id=8e5e3b8030) and they were featured in Transsolar's October 2019 newsletter! (https://us16.campaign-archive.com/?u=07a9649c04f2d4b3b5a2e3475&id=8a2ba3ea25)
Maybe, just maybe, we can reach out to Ellen and Portia through Transsolar???? An idea to be followed up in the future.
Meanwhile, the Lab and Tomatis are both full and humming. Our shoe stand is too small now; we need another one. It is quite amazing how so many people can be inside the building in its different spaces, and it seems to hold everyone without any noise or problem. There's been wonderful work and lots of progress for the kids at Tomatis, and the adults too - transformative work. And a lot of activities and classes at the Lab. Progress on projects too. Huge thanks to Miko, one of our wonderful volunteers, a retired schoolteacher and language-lover from the USA who has come with all his enormous goodwill and knowledge; the students love him and he just "gets it"- all of it! It is such a pleasure. And the rest of the team too, is wonderful - we have wonderful volunteers and teachers as well as the staff > we all enjoy working together and working in this building is a delight!
The building seems to get more beautiful as time passes and we finish bits and pieces of it as and when we can. Everyone seems to love being in it. The most recent comment in our visitors book is : "This building is so beautiful. Thank you so much!"
One is starting to think : this isn't just "construction to combat climate change" (which it is, of course), it is "construction to nurture the human spirit".