We took our time to rebuild this "security hut", flagging the need to respect both the place and its history. Set deep in a thick forest of pines and holm oak trees, this hut was built in the mid-19th century to offer refuge for a forest ranger. At the end of the last century, it was turned into a leisure area for a herd of pigs, later becoming a favourite hideout for me during my adventures as a teenager.
Its rebuilding started at the same time as my architectural studies, being the empirical target of my dubious experience as a university student. The work drew out over an unmentionable period, as it was only undertaken during the summer holidays… with each decision being pondered over while listening to the advice of every single farmer and farm labourer. We used solar power to get electricity, old “loblolly pine” for the internal flooring, we recycled hardboard forms to reinforce the external flooring. The hut was whitewashed, the beams were oiled and we retained the old drainage system and its pear-shaped water-tank. The inside carpentry was treated like a sculpture, chiselled and lovingly hand-crafted by artisans. The windows, which were very basic painted iron and glass, were deliberately reduced to emphasise the mass of stone and mortar walls, while the pergola was carefully separated from the building, remaining off the hut.
This hut still changes to this day, it is lived in, it is modified: there will always be the odd beam to oil, a hardboard section to repair… and a barbecue to enjoy.