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The Architecture of the Buildings of Brig-Wallis Prep School, Part 6: Engineering Hall

Engineering Hall

     The original buildings preceding Order purchase of the property had been several generations of simple homes or reception-like buildings which had sometimes, but not always, conjoined the Chapel, and which served the Jesuit monks who serviced the area and the Chapel for receiving, food storage and preparation, and entertaining. Throughout the eighteenth century, the Jesuit compound suffered from declining populations--both of the general Brig-Glis community and its outlying areas as well as of the Jesuit clergy. The Chapel was used more to serve the resident and itinerant Jesuits--the former who acted more as monks and servants to the local poor, the latter who were often in trouble and on the run--especially during the periods of covert and overt Papal "suppression" and persecution (1740-1815)--and who, therefore, seldom stayed long.
     The buildings on site of the nearly two acres of what are now Engineering Hall and Aubrey Hall in 1806 included a s…
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The Architecture of the Buildings of Brig-Wallis Prep School, Part 5: Châtelaine Hall

Châtelaine Hall was built in place of a row of open-ended stalls that had been built into the south-side hillside slope by the merchant family that had first occupied and built upon the property in the mid-eighteenth century. Before this time, the low-grade, slowly-ascending grassy slopes of the south-facing hills had been farmed for feed and grain for the Jesuit priests' beasts as well as for their grains to make their own bread, gruels, and mueslis.
     When the Order purchased the properties from the Jesuit priests and the neighboring merchant family in 1806, their intention from the beginning was to construct a quadrangular style complex of buildings in which to house the boys and staff training school.
     The continuation of the in-floor piping system used in Facilities and Aubrey Halls was rejected with regard to Chatelaine Hall due to the fear that warmth could not be maintained over such a length (over 40 meters). Years later, in 1957, a separate hot-water system was su…

The Architecture of the Buildings of Brig-Wallis Prep School, Part 4: Aubrey Hall

The Brig-Wallis Preparatory School for Boys campus's southernmost building, Aubrey Hall, was built over the site on which the pre-existing residence quarters for the Jesuit priests, their staff and animals, stood. With the purchase of the two properties on Polenstrasse late in 1806, it was quickly decided to raze these southernmost buildings and use Merchant House for the small school's initial residency. Throughout the first half of 1807, while debris and remnants were being cleared from the property, competing architectural design ideas were being commissioned. By June, a comprehensive design had been approved. The new campus would incorporate three new, inter-connected buildings  to be constructed to the south of, and connected to, both Merchant House and the Chapel. A general contractor had been hired, and various construction companies--Swiss, Italian, French, and German--had been hired to perform the task.
     It should here be put forward the fact that the Order of Osi…

The Architecture of the Buildings of Brig-Wallis Prep School, Part 3: Merchant House

Merchant House

At the northwestern corner of the Brig-Wallis Preparatory School campus sits the wing of the Quad known as Merchant House. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, this part of the campus grounds had served a local merchant as both business site (with storefront) and family residence. According to the building's original functionality, the ground floor was used to conduct business of the day (there were, at various times, multiple retail stores on the ground floor). A spacious, high-ceilinged first floor contained the merchant family's living quarters. It included kitchens, living area, library, and master bedrooms. A second floor, beneath the rafters of the roof line, contained unheated, unplumbed, dormitory-style sleeping areas for the children and guests. Beneath the ground floor lay a fully functional basement which was used for dry storage, both personal and mercantile. The basement had below-ground road-side access near its west end. The west end is also where …

Does the author, Drew Fisher, actually believe what he's writing about?

The question has come up a few times whether or not I really believe the theories and "cause of the end of the world" scenarios that I write about in the Osiris Plan trilogy. The short answer is: Yes. The longer answer is: This story is representational of my current beliefs with regard to metaphysics, cosmology, and the meaning and significance of human life; I truly see the human condition as an adventure within a set of thespian opportunities.
     What I hope to imply here is that I am still growing; I am trying the to best of my abilities to remain open to new information--to remain open and willing to continue the process of expanding my beliefs, of continuing to be discriminating yet accepting and inclusive of new ideas and experiences. My beliefs and knowledge have, I think, been evolving in a way that I'd like to think are expansive. My conscious perspective has been progressing from narrow, ego- and anthropo-centric, to broader, morespiritual-based.
     I have…

Brig-Wallis Architecture, Part 2: The Quad

The decision to build a training center/school and "home base" for the Order of Osiris had been bandied about for about 20 years before it was finally committed to. Long before the location for the school grounds had been decided upon and secured, there had been discussions and decisions made regarding campus designs and structures. Originally, it had been thought that an existing building would be the most natural (and simplest) scenario with which to work. But artistic natures being what they are, members of the Order soon realized how strong was their desire to build something "of their own." Thus, when the adjacent properties on the outskirts of Brig-Glis were purchased in 1806, an architectural design was already in hand.
     The fully enclosed, inward-facing "quadrangular" arrangement of the school's buildings was based on the design of the "Mod Quad" at Merton College, Oxford, England--with which all Order members were familiar. When…

The Architecture of the Buildings of Brig-Wallis Prep School, Part 1: The Chapel

The Chapel

The oldest remaining building on the campus, the so-called Chapel, was constructed during the economic boom brokered by silk and salt baron Kaspar Stockalper in the 1660s and 1670s--a time when the population of Brig and its environs may have reached 1500 souls but had to grow to accommodate the 5000 jobs Stockalper's trade empire demanded. The newly rising Catholic Society of Jesus--called the Jesuits--had received a big boost from local hero and Jesuit co-founder, Peter Faber--a priest who had been a roommate of Francis Xavier while students in Paris (they both received their Master of Arts degrees from the University of Paris on the same day in 1530) and a roommate of Ignatius of Loyola. (Faber was only recently canonized a Catholic saint, in 2013, by Pope Francis I.) The new "tribe" of foot-traveling, educated preacher-teachers, was quick to spread into western Switzerland. With the economic and population boom of the 1660s, Brig-Glis felt an immediate nee…