20K Ophelia’s Home

Week 4: When Hale Froze Over

Hello Again from the 3rd-Year students at Rural Studio!

This year, instead of a Spring Break, Auburn University included “Wellness Days” over the course of the semester. These Wellness Days give students a mental break in the middle of the week. Coincidentally, this weeks’ Wellness Day number brought snow! Although it was only a dusting, the students were able to bear the frigid temperatures to enjoy the rarity of deep south snow. Enjoy these pictures from around Newbern!

Ophelia’s Home

After an enjoyed Wellness Day, the 3rd-Year students kicked it into high gear on site. The interiors team stud framed and prepped most of the interior walls.

Picture showing the interior progress of Ophelia's home
The Interior Walls Framed and in Place

The only thing left to frame is the soffit, which will divide the public and private spaces within the home. The soffit is basically an extended door header. It will span the length of the house, creating enough separation in the nook from the living space, while also separating the utility room from the entry.

History Class

Due to rainy weather, the 3rd-Year students worked in-house on a design problem for history class. These problems encourage critical thinking and designing in a way that matches the era of the structures the class regularly tours. Recently, the students were tasked with illustrating the process of constructing a homestead.

Firstly, they imagined picking a site. This took into consideration water sources, sun, prevailing winds, available building materials, and site conditions that will help keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Next, plans, sections, and perspectives were composed in a storyboard format to tell the story of an imagined family and their homestead. We were limited to the tools and construction techniques that were used through 1810 to 1819.

Shop Class

The 3rd-Years are in the beginning stages of designing all of the millwork for Ophelia’s home. They researched and studied the designs from previous semesters. This provided a great starting point, but they have added accessibility to the cabinet design. The 3rd-Years have been challenged to think critically about the design so far and also to place household objects in the cabinets to truly understand the sizes and placement.

Third-Year Sign-off

Thanks again for reading Ophelia’s Home Project team blog! We hope you enjoy the update. Keep it real and stay healthy.

-Wendy, Sadie, Logan, Drew Haley, Austin, James, Juyeon, Ashley, and Kirby

Week 3: Digging into Design

Welcome back!

The 3rd-Year students have been very busy! After a great, first week on-site, the 3rd-Years spent much of this week digging into several big design decisions remaining for 20K Ophelia’s Home. This includes the interior wall locations and exterior colors. To work through these decisions they held several different design “charettes,” or design sessions, in which they sketched through and discussed all of their ideas.

Keep reading to learn about the 3rd-Years very exciting week in both history and wood shop class as well!

Group of students around their charettes
Getting Sketchy with it

Studio Charrettes

Plan Charette

The first design charrette of the week focused on the floor plan for 20K Ophelia’s Home. While most of the interior walls are already in place, the 3rd-Year team looked to see if there were any changes that could improve the spaces. With this project having a strong focus on accessibility, they also double-checked FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) clearances. Next, they began to propose an idealized floor plan that could possibly be used for future iterations of the home.

Pinup of sketched floor plans for an idealized floor plan of Ms. Ophelia's home.
Our “Idealized Ophelia’s Home Floor Plans”

Exterior Design Charette

Also this week, the 3rd-Years focused on the design of 20K Ophelia’s Home exterior. While comparing the proportions and elevations of 20K Ophelia’s Home to 20K Joanne’s Home, the team began to notice some differences. This is due to the fact that Ophelia’s Home Plan was stretched in order to account for a larger bathroom with ADA/FHA clearances.

WW1 warship using the dazzle camoflauge technique
A “dazzled” American war ship

In an effort to try and regain order and proportion on the exterior of 20K Ophelia’s Home, the team began studying techniques such as “Dazzle Camouflage” to shift the eyes’ focus. This was used on war ships in World War I to change the perception of the ships. As a team, the 3rd-Years felt that “Dazzle Camouflage” could create the proportions they found more appealing, without changing the footprint of the home. It was an exploration in blurring lines and regaining proportions. They came up with visual categories and sketched through ideas in a design charette. These original sketches became the basis for several exterior design options.

Just a few of the initial idea sketches

History Class

For history class this week, the group ventured to the Moore-Webb-Holmes Plantation in Marion, Alabama. This site holds a wide variety of historical structures. A descendant of the original owner was actually able to give us a personal welcome and a great amount of information related to the history of the property. While touring fancy interiors is interesting, it is also very important to understand the realities of how these structures facilitated agriculture.

Wood Shop Class

In Wood Shop Class, the 3rd-Years focused on our first design assignment—a cutting board. After learning about all of the tools in the shop, they designed both the cutting board and fabrication process. They had to think about every single step of the process and the tools most appropriate to accomplish their designs. Also,they had limitations on the types and amount of wood they could use for the cutting boards. Howevere, nothing held them back from creating beautiful cutting boards. Stay tuned to our blog for the finished products!

As you can tell, its been a very busy and exciting week. Thanks again for reading our blog! We appreciate ya’!

donkey
Goodbye

Week 2: Hit the Ground Runnin’

This week, the 3rd-years arrived on site, ready to work! They are excited to continue construction on Ophelia’s Home. They have also been introduced to their elective Woodworking and Historical Design Electives. Let’s check in to see how it’s all starting off.

Students meeting with professor and looking at drawings
Morning talks with Professor Emily McGlohn before site work starts

Wood Shop Class

This semester, the 3rd-Year students will continue the cabinetry class with Steve Long. This week, Steve taught the students how to use the tools safely. They also received an assignment to create a cutting board, so keep an eye out for the finished products! This assignment introduces students to the tools in the wood shop before they begin cabinetry.

Next, the students will be researching, designing, and handcrafting cabinetry for Ophelia’s Home. The 2020 Spring semester 3rd-Years laid a great foundation by designing and planning CNC routed millwork for the home. Past projects such as the Fausndale Community Center have used CNC routing for their millwork. CNC routing is a computer-based cutting machine available on Auburn University’s Main Campus, but not at Rural Studio. Therefore, the new group decided to handcraft the cabinets using the tools available on the Rural Studio campus here in Newbern. Throughout the semester, professionals will come and teach the students the basics of millwork so they can hit the ground running.

History Class

Professor Dick Hudgens teaches historic, regional design elective, referred to as “History Class”, here at Rural Studio. The 3rd-Year students take field trips to amazing buildings in the area, which Dick has great knowledge and experience with. Along with learning the history of the buildings through tours, the students sketch the buildings in order to understand them to a greater degree.

front elevation of Magnolia Grove
Magnolia Grove Main House

For their first class, the 3rd-Years travelled to Magnolia Grove in Greensboro. After touring the site, They sketched the main house and kitchen.

On Site

Everyone was excited to begin work on site.

The interior team spent the week counting inventory and beginning the framework. After a lot of headaches, math, and some rocks in the studs, they built and raised three interior walls!

The enclosures team completed sheathing, which is a flat layer of fiber board used to help strengthen the structure of a building and serve as an extra weatherproofing layer. Ophelia’s Home uses ZIP sheathing which also requires the joints to be sealed with ZIP tape.

The MEP team installed blocking in the rafters to seal ventilation from the attic space. This meant applying 2 “x 4” lumber in between the studs and vertical batons to cover any gaps caused by the exterior sheathing when the two elements meet.

Week 1: All Hands on Deck!

Group of students eats lunch
3rd-Years enjoying lunch on the Great Hall!

Neck-Down Week

The 2021 Spring Semester 3rd-Year’s Rural Studio experience began with Neck-down Week. Neck-down Week is a tradition where Rural Studio students and faculty mend, clean, or maintain local parks, past and ongoing projects, and Morrisette Campus. Neck-Down is a week that requires less brain and more brawn. This week, the 3rd-year group painted, dug holes, completed farm work, laid bricks and much, much more. Neck-down is a great way to be introduced to the spirit of Rural Studio and the tradition of hard work ingrained in the Auburn University Creed.

Welcome to our Studio

Spencer House is where most of the 3rd-Year students live. It also serves as the 3rd-Year Studio, dining hall, and hangout space. Spencer is where all of the design magic happens. During this first week, the 3rd-years divided themselves into three design teams: The Interiors team, Enclosures Team, and “MEP” (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) Team. Each team has its own studio room in Spencer House. Here’s the team breakdown:

Interiors team – Drew Haley, Austin, and Sadie

Enclosures team – Logan, Juyeon, and Ashley

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing team – Wendy, Kirby, and James

Thanks for following along with the 3rd-year experiences here at Rural Studio! Keep on the lookout for updates from our first week on site.

New Kids on the Block

Rural Studio welcomed its newest group of 3rd-year students to Newbern last week! Many precautions are being taken and there have been several rounds of testing to ensure a healthy and happy start to the new semester. This group will continue construction on 20K Ophelia’s Home. They are eager to begin and are diving into the process and planning of construction. The students are excited to keep up the great work the past cohorts completed. They are also looking forward to adding their own stamp to Ophelia’s home.

New 3rd Years sit on the steps of the Great Hall.
Top Row: Logan Lee, Austin Black, James Foo
Middle Row: Juyeon Han, Kirby Spraggins, Ashley Wilson
Bottom Row: Wendy Webb, Drew Haley Smith, Sadie McIntyre

3rd-Year Who’s Who

An Introduction with their hometowns, favorite activities, quotes, and 3rd-year superlative.

Most likely to make a Tiktok
Ashley Wilson
Wetumpka, AL
Likes to play guitar and Animal Crossing
“Bruh.”

Best mustache at Rural Studio” (self-proclaimed)
Austin Black
Birmingham, AL
Likes to cook and listen to podcasts
“…”

Most likely to clean in her spare time
Drew Haley Smith
Auburn, AL
Likes to knit, sew, and play the piano
“Hello, hello! :)”

Most likely to fix the plotter
James Foo
Marietta, GA
Likes to play video games
“Greeaaattt”

Most likely to be a ninja
Juyeon Han
Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea / Montgomery, AL, USA
Likes to bead rings and take photographs
“So sad”

Most likely to be running late
Kirby Spraggins
Southlake, TX
Likes to run and play the guitar
“I feel like Bob the Builder.”

Most likely to make a reference to The Office
Logan Lee
Decatur, AL
Likes to hike, eno, and do anything outside
“I miss my dog.”

Most likely to lock the doors
Wendy Webb
Hazel Green, AL
Likes to watch reruns of Dawson’s Creek on Netflix
“*groaning noises*”

Most likely to go home on the weekends
Sadie McIntyre      
Rogersville, AL
Likes to watch Netflix
“That’s a future Sadie problem.”

Our MVP’s

These two have quickly captured the hearts of the third-year group!

Most likely to sit for a pretzel
Roscoe
Newbern, Al
Likes to roam around town and hang out with Brinda
“Woof”

Most likely to steal items from the porch
Brinda
Newbern, Al
Likes to chew bag chairs left on the porch
“bark”

Group of students presents findings during pin-up on the porch of Spencer house.
The group already hard at work planning the course of action for Ms. Ophelia’s home.

Thanks for reading our blog! Keep on the lookout for new posts and exciting updates. We can’t wait to share our semester with you!