Construction sketches

A roof at L’Hermitage, Nevis. 9 November 1991.

Dated 1740, this roof appeared to be the original and to have survived innumerable cyclones – no doubt due to cross bracing and high quality craftsmanship.


Two eaves with large roof overhang, one near Geneva, the other in south central France.

19 July 1990 & August 1987.

  Eaves without overhang as a precaution against high wind. Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua.

17 November 1991.

Trinity Primary School, St Kitts. 26 October 1991.

This building, the foundation wall of which is shown as a cross-section, had been a church built probably in the 19th Century. Its destruction by a recent hurricane had exposed its construction that had survived numerous earlier hurricanes. Notes above indicate that the entire building had been blown over due to eventual rotting of the 6”x6” timber plate on its windward side (see sketch). The plates themselves had been fixed to a dwarf stone foundation wall by impressive 24” (600mm) steel bolts (see sketch) but fixings of the building frame to the plate had failed due to its rotted condition.

The constant requirement in hurricane-prone places is to hold buildings down as well as to build them up. This had been well observed here but, in some way, water or infestation had penetrated over time sufficient to cause rotting – the weakest point of this otherwise substantial and skilfully constructed building.

Dormer windows on otherwise single storey houses, Lochranza, Isle of Arran.

11 & 12 September 1990.

3229 R Street, Georgetown, Washington DC. 30 June 1990 (after leaving Dumbarton Oaks).