The Design Process

Geneviéve and I have started thinking about a more developed model of the library. During our meeting with Paul today, he suggested that we make a few different models and compare the pros and cons of each design. For example, a larger porch means more outside reading room but less space in the actual library. Shelving below the windows means books that are easier to reach, but such placement runs the risk of damaging books in the event that someone forgets to close the windows during a storm. More windows means higher cost, but better natural lighting. You get the idea.

After some thought, we drew three different design options. After we get the pieces cut and the models built, we are planning to send photos of these models to Mantay to get their input. We are also hoping to have the mothers of Mantay generate a list of qualities they would like to have in a library. By involving Mantay in the library design as much as possible, we hope to get them invested in the project and promote the idea that the library is not ours, but theirs. We believe that the more active a role the members of Mantay take in the creation of the library, the more likely they will be to feel at home in the space and want to use it.
Eventually, after gathering input from Mantay and evaluating the positive and negative aspects of each model, we will begin drafting the final library design.

In addition to building our three preliminary models, our major goal for the next few weeks is to come up with an accurate budget. We believe that—although our project is ambitious—it is feasible with enough prior planning. Budgeting has proved to be a difficult task since I am the only one of us who has been to Peru, and when I lived there I didn't tend to buy things like masses of bricks or cement. Luckily, Raquel has been able to help us determine the cost of labor and construction in Cusco. She has a great deal of experience building in Peru, since Mantay was nothing more than a plot of land when she founded the home in 2000. Geneviéve and I have been using the information Raquel has sent us to begin making a detailed budget for the project.

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