ruralstudio

The Big Idea

This past week Reggie’s Home team focused on minimizing the interior footprint of the home. In order to do this we had to take a step back and clearly identify the diagram of our home.

Jonathon moving rough footprints around the site

Since we’ve said from the beginning that the site is the house, it is very important to clarify what site connections we want to achieve. In this design, the living/kitchen area will have a direct connection to the old chimney, the bedroom will have a connection the cedar tree on the site, and the bathroom/core area will serve as a bridge between the two spaces. 

The next step was to identify the roof conditions. Different areas of program could require different levels of coverage from the rain and sun. 

Establishing the amount of enclosures will be important in determining the sizes of the interior spaces. 

We believe that by minimizing the interior footprint we can maximize the expansion to the exterior. Next we have to decide how much we want it to expand and what the activities will be in those spaces.

Along with diagramming, we created perspectives that highlight qualities we want in the home.

At the end of last week, we presented to Peter Landon, founder and principal of Landon Bone Baker Architects. The conversation focused on taking the connection to the exterior a step further and make it part of our design process. Next week we will continue to move our design forward while keeping in mind that the exterior conditions need to be designed along with the home to strengthen their connection.

Until next week!

Reggie’s Home

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.

Hey, batter batter!

This week, Steve taught us some tips and tricks on setting up batter boards. These batter boards will be used not only as a guide for excavating but also for setting the rebar reinforcement and pouring concrete. The strings that are pulled from stake to stake mark the edges of the footing and the middle string helps to delineate the center, where the screens will connect to the concrete. After the lines were taut and centered, the ground was spray-painted as a reference for digging, and the string was rolled back.

In a day the footing trenches were excavated! Most of it was dug with a mini excavator, but in areas where there were pipes, the digging was done by hand.

Caleb happy we are finally digging the footings!!

Considering the rain in the next couple of days, the team made a provisional cover with 2″x4″ and plywood that was sloped to let the rain shed off to the side. Then tarps were placed on top of the plywood so that the plywood didn’t get soaked.

Check-in next week to see how the rebar was done, and if the weather allows the concrete pour!

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!

A Roof and a Bathroom

This week we have been hard at work moving forward the design of Reggie’s Home. After a week of design charrettes and model making, we presented to Peter Gluck, Leia Price, and Sam Currie. The conversation focused on the essential aspects of the home: a roof, a bathroom, and a place to spend time outside. 

We are exploring the idea that the roof functions as the organizing system for the home below. It could be used to collect rain water as well as provide shade and shelter for the outdoor areas of the home. Although the roof may be slightly bigger than the home it will be the gift for Reggie that could be filled in and inhabited in the future.

Roof scheme

We will be examining strategies that minimize the square footage of the interior rooms and maximize the occupiable exterior spaces.

It’s important that we consider the connection of the home’s exterior with the rest of the site. We have been able to learn a lot about the landscape and how the site is currently used while demolishing the old family home and through deeper site analysis.

Presenting to Peter Gluck, Leia Price, and Sam Currie

Next week we will continue our research on passive systems as well as charrettes of our design.

Until next time!

Reggie’s Home