Thursday, September 28, 2006

Man builds his own cathedral

99.99999...% of buildings in the world are not built by architects' hands, said Nazrine Seraji, at her recent guest lecture in NUS.

Perhaps that's because constructing a building from scratch seems like such a mammoth endeavour. Something best left to the pro builders who know how to drive cranes, operate piling machines, recruit armies of workers from remote Bangladesh, to whom dropping millions of dollars on buying material is peanuts. Could we really build anything apart from the occasional wooden structure in a remote village somewhere?

Even as we speak, Don Justo, a devout old Spanish farmer, continues to meticulously toiling on his own cathedral. He has no plans, "only in his own head". His workers are his six nephews. He has no crane, he uses pulleys. He has no engineer, legal permission, funding, or support from the church. Most of his materials are recycled or excess from construction companies. Amazingly, the Romanesque-style cathedral is taking shape.

This is no little country church. It's got an 8000sqm footprint and is 40m high, with a dome like St Peter's in Rome.

Check here for the inspiring story and pix:

Don Justo's Self Built Cathedral