frankharmon

Introducing… The Fabulous Pavilion

Braces, Splices, and Trusses, oh my!

The 5th-year students have been in Hale for a couple months working as a team of eight on two new projects: the Fabrication Pavilion and CLT Core House. Now we are excited to finally introduce you to the new 2023 Fabrication Pavilion team!

Polaroid photos of (left to right) Tatum DeBardeleben, Marcelo Aldrete, Anna Leach, and Laura Forrest

Tatum DeBardeleben is from Auburn, Alabama. She used to be an equestrian camp counselor and is a lover of wooden utensils.

Marcelo Aldrete comes all the way from Austin, Texas. He is a former builder of tiny homes and a proud bearded dragon dad.

Anna Leach is from Gadsden, Alabama. She loves twirling flaming batons and is an aquarium enthusiast.

Laura Forrest hails from Corner, Alabama. She has been a roller-skating carhop and has a cat who likes high-fiving.

Our Challenge

We have been challenged to pick up where the 2015 Fabrication Pavilion team left off. We will be renovating the structure so that it can continue to serve Rural Studio for years to come. This task includes making some structural repairs to the existing building, planning for an extension, and making changes to the layout of campus so that the Pavilion works as effectively as possible.

Workshopping It Out

Since August, we have had a variety of workshops to explore options for the Fabrication Pavilion with our guests. We began with site planning—balancing the need for student, faculty, and trailer parking with vehicle clearances and turnarounds for deliveries—along with determining the best placement for a new pole barn for storage on campus.

The team also did a story-poling exercise to test out different locations and sizes for possible additions to the Fabrication Pavilion.

Additionally, the entire class accompanied Frank Harmon and Dan Wheeler around Greensboro and Newbern for a sketching and watercolor workshop, with subjects ranging from Morrisette House to Marcelo’s own apartment to Andrew Freear’s wallet! This workshop focused on sketching as a tool for memory, study, and seeing.

Watercolor Perspective of the Great Hall at Morisette House by Tatum DeBardeleben
A beautiful day to watercolor

Under Repair

Under the instruction of our teachers and structural engineer, we have been constructing scaffolding and bracing for the Fabrication Pavilion’s columns. In the next week, we will begin repairing the columns by removing the original wooden blocking and replacing it with larger galvanized steel tubing.

Looks Like We Have Another Review on Our Hands

This past Friday, we got all dressed up for Halloween Reviews as the Scooby-Doo gang, complete with our own Fabrication Pavilion Mystery Machine. This review gave us much-needed insight into our schemes. We have been encouraged to look deeper into the possibilities of what the Fabrication Pavilion can become and to experiment further.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this space evolves from how it has functioned in the past to how it will aid students in Rural Studio’s future. If you would like to accompany us on that journey, check back in with our future blogs!

Workshop #2: Drawing & Seeing with Frank Harmon and Dan Wheeler

The Drawing and Seeing workshop, by Frank Harmon and Dan Wheeler, taught the importance of drawing in the architectural process. They did not teach an ideal way of drawing, but rather to pay attention to what one looks at and how to use drawing as a way to see. The goal from the workshop was not to become more technical or precise sketchers by drawing what one thinks something ought to look like, but to become better at capturing and communicating the essence and context of the beautiful things and places that surround each of us.

Frank Harmon is a professor at NC State and, for years, has been coming to Newbern to help teach a new generation of architects how to see the world and recognize the common beauty around us through sketching. Before beginning his own firm, Frank Harmon Architect, in Raleigh, North Carolina, he worked in New York and London. Follow his beautiful blog of thoughts and drawings called Native Places here.

Dan Wheeler has been bringing his infectious enthusiasm to Rural Studio since 2001. Since then, he has been teaching students the process of drawing and to appreciate the wonderful differences in how each person draws. Dan co-founded Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago and also teaches at UIC School of Architecture.

Going into the workshop, many students considered themselves poor sketchers and were shy about showing their “bad” work to others. This workshop gave students confidence in their abilities to depict their surroundings and visually describe their ideas to others using a variety of mediums. It was a thoroughly enjoyable process of making drawings without focusing so much on making them “perfect.” Nobody sees the world the same, so nobody sketches the same. Throughout the workshop, each student noticed something different in the same thing, be it light, shadow, color, nature, or the context. These differences allowed students to gain valuable insight into how each person sees the world slightly differently.

The intended outcome was to learn how to use hand-drawing as a larger part of the design process, especially while working toward thesis projects at Rural Studio.