featured image of Thinnings Teahouse

Thinnings Tea House

  • Overview


    Payne Lake, AL
    5th Year Project

  • Project Team

    Anna Bevill, Lori Fine, Ian Hoffman, Roger Mainor

This project was the first phase in the “thinnings” research exploration. Thinnings, are trees that are too skinny to be used by most lumber companies and are often removed to make room for larger more viable trees. Typically, in West Alabama, these are the invasive Loblolly Pines that not only do not grow well, but can often stunt the surrounding ecosystem that they inhabit.

The Studio attempted to make use of this newly determined resource, in a number of projects for the Payne Lake Recreation Area in Talladega National Forest. The first of which was a simple covered area to display informational panels about the area and its significant history within the Black Belt. The pavilion, or tea house, utilized the bending capacity of thinnings to create an intimate linear space made of shallowly curved arches.

Repurposing invasive, low-value trees as a building resource

A thin steel cable secured the arch at its apex, and completed what the straightforward assembly of what team called, a fishing-rod truss. A system of purlins and lashings were meant to connect the trusses and allow for the pavilion to be an applicable length, but further sheathing may have been necessary to account for these loads.

Creating an intimate linear space made of shallowly curved arches
Scroll to Top