Bath in the Swing of Things

Happy New Year’s Day, Groundhog Day, and Valentine’s Day!

Welcome back to the Rural Studio Bathhouse Team blog! We have had a very busy winter break and month of January. We are excited to share what we’ve been up to recently.

Over the break, we spent a lot of time reflecting on our work so far and tried to think through ways of making our project more feasible. This led us to reducing the scale of our project back down to just the bathhouse, allowing all our effort to be put into one program and possibly allowing another team the opportunity to design the kitchen/dining space for the pods. We are excited to show our designs very soon!

The first week back in class, we welcomed Jim Stockard and Chris Herbert from Harvard University. Chris Herbert is Managing Director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. James Stockard is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. They graced us with their abundant knowledge of housing and the economics behind it. They also proved to be excellent helpers with our project and challenged us to reconsider how we think about accessibility within it.

Students and faculty review drawings
The team producing to Chris and Jim

To welcome everyone back to campus, all students and faculty participated in the Rural Studio tradition of “Neckdown” during the second week of class. This week of work allows students to get their hands dirty doing tasks around campus and surrounding communities. Tasks for the week included painting the Bodark Amphitheater, the Safe House Museum, the Newbern Firehouse stairs, and the Newbern Playground; we also rebuilt the raised garden beds in the greenhouse and insulated the plumbing underneath Morrisette House and the kitchen. 

More recently, we welcomed Mike Newman and Katrina Van Valkenburgh from Chicago into the fold. They brought with them an excellent knowledge of accessibility and constructability. Mike challenged us to nail down the big ideas of our project, so that we can begin to really understand how to make it happen.

Students and faculty review drawings with reviewers
The team reviewing with Katrina Van Valkenburgh and Mike Newman

We are continuing with the drumbeat of visitors every week and are excited to see where this year takes us! Follow along to see what we are up to each month. 

– Rural Studio Bathhouse Team

Carla, Ambar, Ashley and Logan

Group of students gather around drawings to review together
Yours truly