this is a project that has been in the working for some time now. unfortunately all of that ‘working’ had been purely mental, which does the real world and my physical space no good! I’d rather re-make the world!

On quite a spontaneous but committed impulse, I set about to destroy and rebuild my mezzanine this past week. I wanted to do it last week actually, but got offered some work that I couldn’t pass up, as that income would help finance this project, and gave me a little more time to go over my building designs and mentally prepare and remind myself why am I doing this – a laborious project – now, when we will likely be moving house in six to eight months (that’s for another post).

My old mezzanine was quick and dirty, and was built from nearly-all found or acquired wood, transported home on the bus over a month endeavor, and assembled with a borrowed power screwdriver. only four shelves were bought, at the cost of less than $20. even the screws used to fasten it all together were salvaged from destroyed crates that at one point belonged to the MoMA or the Guggenheim! The main posts, the 2″x10″s used to frame the entire thing, came from a decade-old crate that housed a Robert Rauschenberg sculpture!

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I slept below and worked above (but not often enough). The sides were doubled as shelving storage, which was needed before I made shelving elsewhere, but it killed the view into the room, and meant when you walked in you essentially had to walk down a hallway before entering the room proper! It functioned well for around 15 months, being always well temperature-controlled (with the curtain pulled it trapped heat in during the winter, and was cool during the summer sleeping so low), but eventually it’s use-function, the shelves and whatnot, became pretty superfluous, and what became more important was floorspace and access to my drafting table. A rebuild was in order.

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So I made my way to the Home Depot with a handtruck to push everything home on! Four 2″x4″x12’s, five 4″x4″x8’s and a bunch of Smithson plates, some new fasteners, and a couple of lag screws later, and I had spent less than $130. I could salvage the 2″x4″s from my previous mezzanine for the stud flooring.

First though, I had to finish dismantling and clearing all my junk to the other side of the room.

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Ah good, that’s done! That was all day Thursday. Right on schedule, I planned for this to take two days. Tomorrow: construction!

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I started by erecting the vertical posts in place and fastening them to the walls, with an extra post framing the door for some additional support, before then building the frame (doubled up 2″x4″s were a cheaper solution than extra-long 4″x4″s) and finally positioning the floor studs, which I did on 1-foot mark instead of 16-inch, again just for a little extra support. probably overkill, but like I said I was salvaging this wood from the previous mezzanine.

Of course I didn’t fully consider the flooring. Honestly I thought we might have some spare plywood laying around, but we didn’t, so my only option was to throw two sheets of soundproofing material under the bed, and deal with the flooring later. Time to move on to another project…

Projector time!

All the while one of my main intentions for rebuilding was to finally install, permanently, my data projector for screening movies and films as well as serving as a testing bed for my Normal Space project 48 Hour Run, conceived over a year ago now (delayed all this time due to my first projector failing, broken after less than two months use, and other projects taking over in the meantime).

If I couldn’t have my flooring at least I would have my projector installed!

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ceiling mounted

It feels so good to finally have this done! And what’s amazing is immediately upon turning the darned thing on and the room lighting up, and now with the doorway vantage point clear immediately people start popping in, seduced by the spill of light out into the other rooms!

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Francois immediately came to pay a visit!

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Today I finished the flooring, using 3/4″ CDX plywood which makes it extra safe and sturdy up top, and installed some shelving as well. After the shelving, the flooring and the wood and materials to build the mezzanine, I spent less than $200 and effectively gained nearly 50 extra square foot of room – increasing my real estate without increasing my rent, as someone put it. I was able to move my drafting table back into my space, and have floor space now to build projects or sculptures and can leave them for some time without them interfering with my sleeping area, even though it’s all the same room! I’ve already offered my re-conditioned Normal Space to one artist, I’m hoping to offer it to others, and to have screenings throughout the winter and into next year. All worthy of a celebration, some of my housemates and I watched

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can you name that movie?