A Semester of Screens, Dreams, and Fab-ulous Schemes

Since Halloween Reviews, the Rural Studio Fabrication Pavilion team has been busy. We’ve been working on repairs to the structure of the pavilion, diagramming how the space should be used in the future, and designing storage solutions and weather screens.

Dare to Repair

Now that all of the columns at the Fabrication Pavilion have been braced, it is time to repair the columns. Our structural engineer, Joe Farruggia, came to walk us through the process of replacing the wooden blocking with galvanized steel tubing.

Spaces and Places

We have begun doing spatial diagrams to show where fabrication, storage, loading, and presentations should occur in the Fabrication Pavilion.

Storage Field Trip!

We have been exploring opportunities for material storage, both on the Fabrication Pavilion and in Rural Studio’s storage barns. This will help students keep the slab clear for fabrication. We began at the Owl Barn, taking measurements and photos to see what materials and machinery can be stored there. Then, we examined the structure to see if any changes need to be made to accommodate storage solutions. We also took a trip to Tuscaloosa to visit lumber yards and hardware stores to evaluate their approaches to lumber storage.

Are We the Core Team Now?

Since our workshop with Amanda Loper and Brett Jones (from David Baker Architects in Birmingham, AL & San Francisco, CA), we’ve also been expanding on the idea of tool cores. These would provide lockable storage at intervals along the length of the Fabrication Pavilion for teams to access tools for woodworking, metalworking, and cleanup. In addition, they will most likely be combined with overhead material storage for in-process projects.

Aesthetic Protection

Finally, we have been finding our language for materiality and representation. Through our workshops with Roberto de Leon and Ross Primmer (from de Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop in Louisville, KY), we began to explore the possibility of a rain screen to protect the materials we hope to store on the Fabrication Pavilion.

We developed this further with Billie Tsien (from Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in NYC) by exploring whether the screen should be related to the existing structure or something entirely its own. In addition, she helped us come to the conclusion that any extension should share the same roof plane as the original building. This way, the two act as one structure rather than being seen as a building with an add-on.

A Soup-er Review

At Soup Roast, visitors from our previous workshops along with Front Porch Initiative members gave us feedback on our updated schemes. It was so exciting to see how far all of the teams’ projects have come this semester!

Happy Holidays! Check back in with us when return for Spring semester!