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!

Introducing… The Fabulous Pavilion

Braces, Splices, and Trusses, oh my!

The 5th-year students have been in Hale for a couple months working as a team of eight on two new projects: the Fabrication Pavilion and CLT Core House. Now we are excited to finally introduce you to the new 2023 Fabrication Pavilion team!

Polaroid photos of (left to right) Tatum DeBardeleben, Marcelo Aldrete, Anna Leach, and Laura Forrest

Tatum DeBardeleben is from Auburn, Alabama. She used to be an equestrian camp counselor and is a lover of wooden utensils.

Marcelo Aldrete comes all the way from Austin, Texas. He is a former builder of tiny homes and a proud bearded dragon dad.

Anna Leach is from Gadsden, Alabama. She loves twirling flaming batons and is an aquarium enthusiast.

Laura Forrest hails from Corner, Alabama. She has been a roller-skating carhop and has a cat who likes high-fiving.

Our Challenge

We have been challenged to pick up where the 2015 Fabrication Pavilion team left off. We will be renovating the structure so that it can continue to serve Rural Studio for years to come. This task includes making some structural repairs to the existing building, planning for an extension, and making changes to the layout of campus so that the Pavilion works as effectively as possible.

Workshopping It Out

Since August, we have had a variety of workshops to explore options for the Fabrication Pavilion with our guests. We began with site planning—balancing the need for student, faculty, and trailer parking with vehicle clearances and turnarounds for deliveries—along with determining the best placement for a new pole barn for storage on campus.

The team also did a story-poling exercise to test out different locations and sizes for possible additions to the Fabrication Pavilion.

Additionally, the entire class accompanied Frank Harmon and Dan Wheeler around Greensboro and Newbern for a sketching and watercolor workshop, with subjects ranging from Morrisette House to Marcelo’s own apartment to Andrew Freear’s wallet! This workshop focused on sketching as a tool for memory, study, and seeing.

Watercolor Perspective of the Great Hall at Morisette House by Tatum DeBardeleben
A beautiful day to watercolor

Under Repair

Under the instruction of our teachers and structural engineer, we have been constructing scaffolding and bracing for the Fabrication Pavilion’s columns. In the next week, we will begin repairing the columns by removing the original wooden blocking and replacing it with larger galvanized steel tubing.

Looks Like We Have Another Review on Our Hands

This past Friday, we got all dressed up for Halloween Reviews as the Scooby-Doo gang, complete with our own Fabrication Pavilion Mystery Machine. This review gave us much-needed insight into our schemes. We have been encouraged to look deeper into the possibilities of what the Fabrication Pavilion can become and to experiment further.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this space evolves from how it has functioned in the past to how it will aid students in Rural Studio’s future. If you would like to accompany us on that journey, check back in with our future blogs!