Hello Dearest Reader,
After several weeks of workshops, we are excited to finally introduce the world to the Rural Studio Bathhouse Team! We are so happy to begin this journey and hope you will follow along with us as we complete this project!
Carla Slabber | Chattanooga, TN
Ambar Ashraf | Atlanta, GA
Logan Lee | Decatur, AL
Ashley Wilson | Wetumpka, AL
As our team’s name implies, we are designing a bathhouse facility for the Morrisette’s campus housing pods. This facility will provide much needed showers, toilets, sinks, and laundry space, for an expected 16-person cohort of 3rd-year students. The team is also considering an addition of a kitchen into the program, which could more closely connect 3rd-year life to Rural Studio Farm.
Through the workshops and for the past few weeks, the team has studied the site and investigated patterns of human movement and interaction, as well as water runoff and location of trees. This has provided a basis for general site placement options, which are still being considered.
This project continues the Studio’s exploration of mass timber as a more sustainable and appropriate local way to build. Our team has been given the challenge of creating a beautiful and functional bathroom facility out of wood, while also having to manage water, humidity, and ventilation.
Because our project continues the exploration of mass timber, we have spent time studying historical precedents in the area, such as the Folsom Seed Barn, as well as previous wood projects that Rural Studio has completed. These include the Newbern Town Hall and the more recent Breathing Wall Mass Timber Research Project and Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project. This has opened our eyes to different types of timber construction, including stacked-log construction and layered mass timber assemblies.
As a team, we are continuing the study of layered assemblies, specifically cross-laminated timber and dowel cross-laminated timber. We are also studying rainwater collection strategies and how that can be used in our facility. We continue to look into overall site run-off and how that may affect our project as well.
To begin the process of designing the facility, the team is simultaneously working through plan sketches and study models. These models are designed based on the nature of working with planes of mass timber. They explore both the spatial and structural qualities of this material, as well as how natural light and ventilation can begin to be introduced into these spaces.
These models have provided us with a very interesting way of thinking about our project. We are not simply creating a form, but using a system of modules and planes to create spaces. This allows for simple expression of structure and materiality, while also allowing for the addition and subtraction of additional modules.
Moving forward, we look to lock down the project’s placement on our site. We also will continue exploring the possibilities of our project through additional models as we move toward Halloween Reviews.
Thank you for reading along and we hope that you will continue to follow along with us as we continue this journey together! Be on the lookout for updates soon.
– Rural Studio Bathhouse Team
Carla, Ambar, Ashley, and Logan