Recently At Rural

Dried In At Last!

Welcome back! Rosie’s Home is on to its punchlist, and the students are working diligently as the 30th Pig Roast inches ever closer!

Right before spring break, 3rd-year students enjoyed a barbeque afternoon on site with their clients and had the honor of trying Frankie’s delicious fried catfish and “which-a-way” burgers. There was plenty of dancing, especially line-dancing like “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and Frankie’s favorite, the Electric Slide, as the students showed new moves to Rosie, Frankie, and teachers Emily McGlohn and Judith Seaman.

After spring break, 3rd-year students took off running on Rosie’s Home. Yesenia, Denae, Julia, and Brysen finished installing the floor and trim, while Mac and Sarah worked with Judith on custom-building and installing the final, and largest, window.

With all of these details out of the way, their instructor, Steve Long, is helping install cabinets in the kitchen; Yesenia, Denae, Sarah, and Emily are putting up the door; and Julia, Brysen, and Mac are applying final touches to the attic space. The team is pushing to finish interiors so they can make the final designs for the landscape and porch as the team enters its last month in Hale!

One Step Closer to Taking a Seat

Woodshop class with Steve has been very productive as students are finishing details on their cutting boards and continuing to work on their chairs. Yesenia and Sarah have been having many “bending parties” where the entire class participates in helping bend and clamp a steamed wood leg for Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60. This process is meticulous and time-sensitive, but so far, has been a win! Denae and Julia successfully steam-bent their first piece of wood for the seat of Jean Prouvé’s Standard Chair; they are continuing the process and mark their angles on hardwood for legs. Mac and Brysen are working hard at perfecting the mechanics involved with the Lina Bo Bardi folding chair on the drill press and jigs. Each seat brings its challenges, but the students are taking plenty of time to construct the chairs as best as they can.

In what felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the class was able to spend a full 8 hours in woodshop on a recent Friday, and they took full advantage! They also have had the fabulous opportunity to spend more time in woodshop on typical site days to fabricate elements of the house such as window trim and cabinet base trim.

Trips with Dick

History trips with instructor Richard Hudgens are always a high for the 3rd-years every Monday, and these last three houses certainly did not disappoint. The students came to a collective agreement that Thornhill Mansion in Forkland, Alabama, was their favorite trip to date by far. Yes, the house was beautiful, but the view from the home’s hilltop perch over the Black Belt prairie was especially breathtaking.

In addition, though Professor Hudgens has visited this location numerous times, he had never climbed the 100-foot fire tower this house hid until now. Students and Hudgens took on the hair-raising, exhausting, but 100% worth it experience of climbing this tower with the owner, Mr. Jones, for a view that stunned from the top. The weeks that followed took the class to old favorite, Folsom Farm in Marion, with its famous seed house and general store, as well as the stately Gaineswood Mansion, with a section like no other!

The students were also given their final watercolor assignments, extra-special this year for the 30th Anniversary of Rural Studio. They will be on display at Pig Roast — so come on out to Hale and see their hard work!

1st-Years in the House

In March, Rural Studio holds its annual 1st-Year Workshop, where freshman architecture students are commissioned to design a model stand responding to studio models they previously presented. With themes such as “nest,” “slide,” and “rotate,” these model stands came to life with the help of 3rd-year, 5th-year, and “leftover” students. The visiting class received tool training from Steve Long the first afternoon, followed by dinner and a show (spaghetti and a lecture from Andrew Freear). It’s safe to say the younger students had an up-close view of what daily life will be like at Rural Studio should they choose to apply!

The second day, students were divided so each group had one 3rd-year advising them. And what would a Rural Studio visit be without catfish!? Students enjoyed a wonderful catfish lunch provided by Chef Ann before getting back to work on their model stands. The day concluded with a review of each stand with Andrew Freear, John Marusich, Emily McGlohn, Judith Seaman, and special guest Katherine Hogan of Katherine Hogan Architects in Raleigh, NC. Hope to see them here again in two years!

So Much Fun, So Little Time

Spring has sprung, and this means the Farm is always busy. Students are assigned farm duty, which recently has involved planting peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, harvesting greens, and protecting plants from freezing overnight. This Alabama weather can be so unpredictable! Each week, guests from across the county visit Newbern to conduct workshops with 5th-years and give a lecture to all students and faculty during lunch. Recently, visitors have included: Katherine Hogan from Raleigh, NC, Pete Landon of Landon Bone Baker in Chicago, Amanda Loper and Cameron Acheson from David Baker Architects in Birmingham, and Rick Joy from Rick Joy Architects in Tucson.

Hammocking has been a recent obsession for the 3rd-Years. In Greensboro, pickleball isn’t for the weak! The students find themselves playing with Fellows from Project Horseshoe Farms many times during the week, when they aren’t absolutely demolishing competition at trivia in Greensboro that is (they never win). Weather is warming up which means more outside activities, keep an eye out, their soccer skills are defrosting as we speak!