Folks, it was one heck of a rainy week in Newbern! Though this slowed some of the progress of the floor framing in Ophelia’s Home, the 3rd-years did manage to get some work done on site before the big storms hit. They completed the fabrication and installation of both girders and the termite shield. Soon after the rain came, the site became a mud pit for the rest of the week which pushed the third years back into studio.
On the bright side, the newly installed drain for the foundation has proved to be worth the multitude of gravel-filled wheelbarrows as it was able to continuously drain the majority of the water that came flowing into the site!
Once indoors, construction documents were updated and the 3rd-years were able to get ahead on cleaning up other drawings, so they’ll have plenty of time to kick it into full gear on site once the rain quits. While not being able to work on site, the 3rd-years also began the process of determining the color of Ophelia’s Home. This was done by looking at the context of the surrounding landscape, and discussing how this can relate to the color.
Tune in next Monday folks, for another update on the 3rd-years tomfoolery! P.S. If somebody can get it to stop raining please do.
Based on our design development thus far, we have decided to incorporate a pole barn structure into our 20K Home design this year. In order to learn more about these type of structures and who is already building them in our community, we set off to do more research.
Typically, pole barns in this area are constructed using treated 6×6 wood posts and trusses composed of metal tubes, with either wood or metal purlins. We started talking with local contractors and manufacturers to get a better sense of pricing, construction options, details, and construction timeline.
After talking with Allen (one of the local pole barn contractors) he invited us to shadow him as he put up a 40′ x 120′ pole barn with his crew. On the first day the team installed all of the posts and cast the footings. We also helped them as they prepared for truss installation by establishing a datum to measure from.
On the second day: the team chopped the tops off the posts to level them, bolted the two halves of the truss together, and then raised them up atop the posts. It was helpful for us to observe the process and ask questions of the guys who do this every day. They’ve been an invaluable resource in helping us understand the possibilities and limitations of pole barn construction.
In conjunction with our research, we are continuing to design. We’re focusing on the “L” scheme with porches on two adjacent sides. We’re now diving further into the sectional implications of putting a small house under a big roof. We’re investigating different facade and insulation strategies and diving further into the details.
The new group of 3rd-years have arrived and hit the ground running (with maybe a stumble or two) as they begin the process of taking over Ophelia’s Home project and start to get acclimated in their new spot for the semester. Before discussing the details of their project, the students took a tour of several past Rural Studio projects to familiarize themselves with the town and other 20K Homes around Newbern. Once touring and neckdowns were completed, the initial goal for the newbies was to look through all the hard work last semester’s 3rd year group put in to creating the best version of Joanne’s home for Ophelia. One of the first steps was to understand the foundation and the reasoning behind some major decisions made in the design.
New kids on the block… Meet the 3rd-years!
Adam “Slow-Movin” Boutwell
From: Bay Minette, Alabama
Joke: Today my brother asked me, “Can I have a book mark?” We’ve been brothers for 21 years and he still does not know my name is Adam.
Hobby/Talent: Professional snapper
Yearbook Quote: “Mountains never meet, but people do.”
Alex “Old Soul” Harvill
From: Tampa, Florida
Joke: Some people think prison is one word… but to robbers it’s a sentence.
Hobby/Talent: Riff on the air guitar.
Yearbook Quote: “Surely you can’t be serious”
Daniel “Go-To Goatee” Burton:
From: Prattville, Alabama
Joke: My friend keeps saying, “Cheer up man, it could be worse, you could be stuck underground in a hole full of water.” I know he means well.
Hobby/Talent: Amateur chopstick craftsman
Yearbook Quote: “There’s a stack of freshly made waffles in the middle of the forest! Don’t you find that a wee bit suspicious?”
Elizabeth “Parking Services” Brandebourg
From: Auburn, Alabama
Joke: Two guys walk into a bar, but the third one ducks.
Hobby/Talent: Wildlife photography
Yearbook Quote: “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
Elle “MNOP” Whitehurst
From: Peachtree City, Georgia
Joke: Ask for more info.
Hobby/Talent: Can talk with mouth closed
Yearbook Quote: “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley”
Hannah “Trevor” Moates
From: Ozark, Alabama
Joke: Did you hear about the new corduroy pillow? They are making headlines everywhere!
Hobby/Talent: The Auburn Eventing Team
Yearbook Quote: “Better is the enemy of good.”
Jackie “The Marine” Rosborough
From: Deerfield, Illinois
Joke: I’m addicted to brake fluid, but I can stop whenever I want.
Hobby/Talent: Making coffee. Try a pourover from me to decide if it’s a hobby or a talent.
Yearbook Quote: “My vibe is like, hey you could probably pour soup in my lap and I’ll apologize to you.”
Jasvandhan “Jay” Coimbatore Upendranath
From: Coimbatore Tamil Nadu, India
Joke: ur mom
Hobby/Talent: Binge watching
Yearbook Quote: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days, before you’ve actually left them.”
Jooyoung “Tree” Lim
From: South Korea
Joke: Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9.
Yearbook Quote: “Your secrets are safe with me… I wasn’t even listening”
Lauren “Patio” Deck
From: Aurora, Illinois
Joke: Your workout routine
Hobby/Talent: Black belt taekwondo
Quote: “No pain, no gain.”
Luke “Shamus” Killough
From: Huntsville, Alabama
Joke: I’m in architecture for the money.
Hobby/Talent: Can shred on a kazoo
Yearbook Quote: “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I know I’m doing it really, really well.”
Shijin “Surgeon” Ding
From: Qingdao, China
Joke: At Disney I heard a mother talking to her son say, “We’re in the happiest place on earth. Don’t let me slap you.”
Hobby/Talent: Photoshop, InDesign, CAD, Sketchup
Yearbook Quote: “Your hair is winter fire, January embers. My heart burns there too.”
For the first week of studio a good ‘ol fashioned pull-planning session was held to create a rough to-do list in order to get the project done in time for Pig Roast. The studio was split into four teams that consisted of framing, enclosures, MEP, and interiors. Although there’s a lot to be done for the semester, this framework will allow the project to be completed smoothly with a competent team of 3rd years (good luck finding one!).
(Kidding, they’ve got this.)
The first few days on site were spent digging drainage trenches and preparing for floor framing which will occur next week. The first steps to the floor framing was to place the girder in order to secure the joists. Gravel was poured into the trenches which will surround the drainage tile that is to be put in place.
In considering the programmatic layout for the 2020 20K, we started by analyzing the programmatic layouts of the existing one-bedroom 20Ks and comparing their spatial organizations with our project goals. We liked the logical flow from public to private areas of the “Long Linear” schemes (such as Dave’s), however we felt that the narrow width limited the programmatic possibilities. In contrast, the “Horizontal Bar” schemes allowed for a longer front porch, increasing the area of this valuable outdoor living space. The “Squarish” plan is the most efficient; however, these homes feel smaller than the others when viewed from the outside because they lack a long façade.
In conjunction with our 20K analysis, we also selected a few precedence to study. The three that we settled on were: The Chamberlain Cottage by Marcel Breuer & Walter Gropius, The Sea Ranch Cottage by William Turnbull & Assoc, and Andrew’s Home (architect unknown).
After testing these programmatic layouts in plans of different dimensions, we arrived at a layout inspired by the Sea Ranch Cottage. This plan was not only the most efficient layout but it also provided for the most interior flexibility (allowing for an additional bedroom to be carved out of the living/dining room in the future).
By using the post-frame construction method, we are able to build a larger roof and slab structure than previous 20Ks. Although we are still building a one-bedroom 20K, our plan is to situate the home within a larger structure that will allow for easy expansion in the future. Given the constraints of around a 500-600 square-foot home, situated within around a 1000 square-foot superstructure, we began to design the exterior space. From our visits to past 20Ks and other homes in the area, we set some parameters for the width of the exterior space (with a minimum of 6’ to allow for a comfortable sitting porch, and a maximum of 12’ to allow for light to penetrate into the home). With these parameters in mind, we looked at various ways in which our plan could fit within the larger superstructure, settling on two schemes to investigate further, what we call the “L” scheme and the “Front/Back” scheme.