This section of our website, is a blog that recorded the unfolding development of the Main House.
The Development of the Main House:
Choosing A Site
Soon after receiving the new lot for the Hermitage we began to walk the land, getting to know it and looking for naturally flat places, open to sunlight that would make a good building site for the Main House. We hoped to locate it in the centre of the property to avoid even the minimal noises of the neighbouring golf course and adjoining private roads.
After several months we finally decided on this site:
We were quite familiar with the land by the time we chose the site for the main house and had an intuitive awareness of its location in relation to the rest of the property . We were, however, still delighted when we received the land survey marking its place and confirming its centrality. Below is a map of the land marked with the location of the main building site:
Purpose and Design
The main house is designed as a building for all retreatants to share. It houses the shared kitchen, a large room with fireplace, solitary spaces for sitting, eating areas, a library, and rooms to meet for spiritual direction or spiritual accompaniment on the main floor. On the lower floor there is a three-piece bathroom, laundry facilities, and spaces for art and movement. The loft in the upper level provides a cosy space for prayer or meditation. You can see the design at: 3D Drawings of the Main House
October 28, 2013: The Importance of a Driveway
We received our Driveway permit on October 10th, 2013 and began clearing the way for it soon after.
As I walked the first stages of our driveway I was amazed to find the land finally accessible with (relatively) easy walking. Before this day I bushwhacked through thick undergrowth, stumbled on fallen and rotting logs that broke unexpectedly beneath my feet or covered hidden holes. As I walked to the main house building site I was able to see each step before I took it. I could look up, and around, appreciating anew the beauty of the natural sanctuary around me and anticipating the day when retreatants will come to do likewise.
November 2, 2013: Groundbreaking
The visioning team, members of the Rivendell Society Board, and John and Wendy Hardy of the Rivendell hosting community, met together on November 2nd, 2013 at 1pm to celebrate the ground breaking for the Hermitage. Although it was a rainy day, dedicated fire starters worked together to build a fire on the land in the place we planned for the fireplace in the main house.
We gathered around the fire. Each person offered a blessing over the Hermitage. One after another, each one broke the ground. As all had been important in bringing this vision to the readiness of groundbreaking, so all participated in turning over the piece of dirt in front of them with the small shovel passed hand to hand.
November 5, 2013: The Long Awaited Building Permit
We were ready to build but still awaiting our building permit. We sent in more forms and waited. We got another water report and waited. We made required corrections to our building plans and waited. We submitted yet more forms and waited again. Finally, after months of waiting, we received our building permit on November 5, 2014, just three days after our ground-breaking ceremony. It was time to build!!
November 12, 2013: Site Prep Begins
Before we could build we needed to level the ground and prepare a septic field. Here Cody Bentall, of Bentall Taylor Construction, discusses the site plan with Kathi and friend. On the same day Gary Anderson and colleague prepare to blast the hills of solid rock we found across our building site once we had cleared the trees.
December 4, 2013: Of Driveways, Foundations, and Sewage
We now have a smooth dirt driveway, the foundation forms are up, and the septic field is coming along. Come with us on our site visit and see how quickly things are changing:
January 1, 2014: A New Foundation for A New Year
January to March 2014: The Building Goes Up
The building goes up so fast we can barely keep track of all the changes. Here is a brief “picture book” of these building days from January 16, 2014 to March 25, 2014: