It’s such a common loft ladders related question: Which is better aluminium or wooden loft ladders. And this blog will not answer that question. (Just visit our blog article “Loft Ladders Buying Guides” to find out the answer to the wood Vs aluminium question.) Having been sent some pictures of an old loft ladder being used as chopping wood (by a happy customer with a brand new one) We sometimes wonder if inanimate objects go to heaven. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But much like the wood Vs aluminium question again we are not here to find out. We are here to look at the timber loft ladders that ended up going to a Cathedral so they could be re-born
Today we are going via cruise ship (we wish) to visit the wonderful City of Madrid, In Spain to look at something that makes the amount of recycling you do at home look truly pathetic.
This extraordinary cathedral you are about to look at (that is made entirely from salvaged materials) has steadily risen over the past 50 years in a quiet Madrid neighborhood. Justo Martinez has been working on the massive undertaking nearly single-handedly ever since he had to leave an order of monks due to illness. After recovering, he dedicated his life to building a church using his own money, on his own land. The massive undertaking is built almost entirely from local materials that he is able to salvage, including some loft ladders, and now in 2012 topped out at 131 feet the cathedral just needs a few finishing touches like a roof, some windows and permits.
While the cathedral’s design is loosely based on St. Peter’s Cathedral, Don Justo has created no formal drawings or engineering plans. His background in farming did not stop him from taking on such a challenging project, which incorporates motifs found in castles, churches, and even the White House. Most of the bricks are salvaged from nearby brick factories, and cathedral’s walls are certainly unorthodox. After leaving life as a farmer to become a Benedictine Monk, Don Justo came down with tuberculosis which forced him out of the monastery in a greatly weakened state. He promised himself that if he survived he would erect a church dedicated to the Lady of The Pillar who he prayed to during that turbulent time.
So far the cathedral totals an astonishing 8,000 square meters in size! The many concrete support columns use old oil drums as forms. The roof is adorned with countless tons of salvaged bricks and locally salvaged tiles, and paint buckets sprout from the towers. Donated materials make up the bulk of the rest of the construction included in that was a whole warehouse of over 4,000 timber loft ladders because the factory that made them (by hand) had sadly been involved in a fire and had to have the stock scrapped.(the odd fact is that if they were made from aluminium he couldn’t have used them due to not owning a cutting torch or welder.) The good news is that he got some help with the labor from his nephews and an assistant who also assisted in the removal, placement and…re birth (for want of a better word) of all those loft ladders. While the building has neither plans nor permits, the City of Madrid has tolerated its existence. Martinez is in the process of consulting with an architect to formally apply for a permit so that when the building is closer to completion it may be used as a house of worship. Don Justo’s dedication will surly inspire others through this bold and committed endeavor.
So do you feel like putting that can of coke in the right recycling bit make the world a better place? Then it’s time to try harder!
Picture by Andrew Michler
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