OpheliasHome

Cabinet Class From Afar

A lot has happened since the last Cabinet Class blog! Rural Studio has transitioned their classrooms to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Anyone see that coming? Not us.

To keep everyone safe, class is now being held on an online video platform. Obviously, this will change what is expected from students for the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, in accordance with Auburn University regulations, the Studio has put all on-site construction on hold, which includes 20K Ophelia’s Home. As a result of all of these changes, this class will regretfully be unable to fabricate their cabinets this semester. 

This change in plans, however, will not stop the class from powering forward! Teams are now working remotely to finalize the design of their cabinets. With their final designs, students will create thorough sets of construction drawings and instructions for the use of Ophelia and Rural Studio.  Hopefully, at the end of April, this class will have all components needed to build the cabinets, so the next class can construct cabinets when the Studio is able to return to the shop. Steve and Chelsea are excited to see the beautiful fabrication drawings this semester creates!

Zoom Meeting with Joo, Jay, and Hannah

One floor all, all floor one!

It might still be raining, but the rain delay is over for the 3rd-years! It’s about time here at 20K Ophelia’s Home, but the framing of the floor above the crawlspace foundation is finally complete. As the rainy days are starting to become less frequent, there has been more time for the 3rd-years to progress forward with construction.

Enclosures team finished up the last details on the termite flashing, figuring out a neat corner solution along with the flashing dipping down to cover where the girders rest.

Wednesday was a charrette day back in studio, and the walls have never been more colorful! Ideas upon ideas were put on paper as the whole day was spent exploring options for the porch on Ophelia’s Home. The 3rd-years will continue to refine the design for Ophelia and the site.

There were a few road bumps while building the flooring because we discovered the foundation was not completely square and is now a ~soft~ trapezoid. Having to work around a funky foundation, the framing team became pros at leveling and squaring the floor framing. In order to make sure the floor was entirely level, they carefully worked to correct the rim joists by pushing them towards the crawlspace in some spots. Once the shimming and squaring was done and checked (and checked again, and maybe redone in a few places, then checked some more) it was smooth sailing to place in the rest of the joists and blocking.

To cap off a busy week , sub floors were put into place on the joists. The floors might be blue, but the 3rd-years sure weren’t as they finished up with a layer of waterproof paint that matched the much anticipated clear sky above.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

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.

Moving on!

This week 3rd-year students began the process of designing new cabinets for 20K Ophelia’s Home. The first assignment in this adventure, following Steve’s introductory lecture on Alabama’s Lumber Industry, is to do some research.

Steve gives lecture on Alabama’s Lumber Industry

The students have been tasked to research not only the past millwork Rural Studio has typically used in their projects but also to interview Ophelia about her storage needs. Because Chelsea and Steve want all the help they can get, this week the class also got a visit from the Cochran brothers, millwork experts from Wood Studio in Arley, Alabama.

Keith and Dylan introduce the pieces that make up one cabinet box

Dylan and Keith Cochran are old friends of Rural Studio. For over 15 years, they have served as the Studio’s go-to consultants for all things furniture and cabinetry-related. During their visit, they reviewed the students’ initial millwork research and gave feedback on design.

After reviewing two presentations, Dylan and Keith gave a very thorough demonstration on how to build a cabinet, which was not only incredibly informative but also a lot of fun for everyone.

Dylan and Keith explain the cabinet’s construction process

During their workshop, the Keith and Dylan described what materials are required to put together cabinets. Following this explanation, they demonstrated the assembly process, which involved joining the following parts: a toekick, cabinet box, face frame, shelves, and a door with hinges. Throughout this tutorial, they emphasized the most important part of cabinet-making: sanding and finishing!

Thanks Keith and Dylan!

“I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello”

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.

Hobby/Talent: Soccer

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.