Third years continued to work diligently in the shop this week as different cutting boards slowly started to come together. They were also able to visit a mid-1800’s house in Demopolis with Dr. Hudgens. At Horseshoe farms this week, 3rd-years were able to put up the frames for the other half of the courtyard after the 5th-years worked to install the footings.
Working in the Rural Studio Wood Shop on cutting boards
This week students worked to put the existing walls up at Ophelia’s Home. Rural Studio also had six helical anchors installed to further stabilize the foundation and 3rd-years were able to witness the process. While wall installation went slowly in order to assure everything remained plumb, students and Mrs. Ophelia were excited to see the home return prior condition. Everyone is looking forward to further progress on the home in the weeks to come!
Students continued to work diligently on their cutting boards in Shop and completed another Design Prompt from Dr. Hudgens’ history class. In this Design Prompt, students were tasked with designing a farmhouse as well as necessary outbuildings and seed buildings. The project focused on designing these structures as they would be built in the latter half of the 19th century. In Studio, the 3rd-year students started working on their presentation of Ophelia’s Home.
With the 3rd-year work at Perry Lakes Park complete, all hands were on deck at Horseshoe Courtyard this week. 3rd-years and 5th-years worked to continue to plant trees and surrounded them with slate. Students continued to clean bricks in preparation for the brick pad.
This week students have started to look into pole barns! Over the past two years, Rural Studio has started to explore the use of pole barns as a way to address modular homes and planning to expand as family dynamics shift. Students heard from last year’s pole barn team as well as structural engineers about pole barn design and structure.
This week at the Horseshoe Courtyard project: concrete and trees! After cleaning many bricks and witnessing the concrete pour, students were also eager to see the arrival of the Crepe Myrtle trees to the courtyard. With help from Mason and the augur, students finished digging the holes for and planting the first three trees in the courtyard.
Perry Lakes Park
A few 3rd-years took a trip out to Perry Lakes Park to continue sprucing it up. They discovered the “secret lake bridge,” and were given the chance to repair it. Now anyone can go looking for the secret lake! Students also helped power wash some of the wood in order to keep the path less slippery.
This week, the 3rd-years worked on creating detail drawings of Ophelia’s Home’s foundation. Being able to see the foundations in person while drawing them is an amazing, unique opportunity. It has quickly given the students an understanding of how crawl-space foundations work. Each student selected a unique piece of the foundation to draw. These drawings will eventually be added onto to create 7 complete section cuts. The drawings show details through the foundation piers, vents, below significant areas, and the front porch. All the drawings were organized onto one construction document sheet, which is a new and very important skill for the 3rd-years to have learned.
This week, the 3rd-years’ continued work at Horseshoe Courtyard consisted of cleaning more bricks. They also began building and setting up wooden formwork for the incoming concrete! Students worked to hammer in stakes, cut wood boards, and drill formwork into place. They are extremely excited (some may say overly excited) about the concrete pour.
Perry Lakes Park
After a few weeks of working in Hale County, half of the 3rd year students ventured out to Perry Lakes Park to help with maintenance and repair. This included working with 5th-year students and graduate students to clear large debris from pathways and replace aging timber boards on the elevated walkways and the Birding Tower. Perry Lakes Park is currently closed to the public until it is rejuvenated. However, once the Rural Studio Students are finished, the park will be open for bird enthusiasts, outdoor lovers, and adventurers alike.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic the 3rd-years shifted their project from building 20K Ophelia’s Home to an online exploration of 20K Turner’s Home. Before the 3rd-years left Rural Studio to head back home, they were able to finish framing and sheathing all of Ophelia’s Home walls.
After a triumphal day of putting all the walls up, the 3rd-years headed off to Spring Break! Unfortunately, once the 3rd-years found out the were unable to come back to Rural Studio, the wall had to be taken down and covered by a tarp for protection until the site is reopened.
The 3rd-years began their experimentation with how 20K Turner’s Home could be modified and were challenged to make changes that included Turner’s Home in the product line. The program included the ability to add 300 to 400 square feet to the original home, change the form, reorganize internal space in order to accomplish, and add the quarter bedroom concept from Ophelia’s Home. The 3rd-years started off by reading the book designed by the original Turner’s student team and began evaluating the plan to make changes. Soon after, they adapted sections, elevations, wall sections, and floor framing to their designs. Once doing these, a series of perspectives and diagrams were created to explain the new design. Everything was compiled into a final presentation and reviewed with a number of the Rural Studio faculty.
Being fortunate enough to spend the time at Rural Studio that we did, all 12 of us were certainly heartbroken to leave so early. With high hopes of getting our long list of tasks done after spring break, it was sad to hang up our boots and open up our laptops. This is not to disregard the fact that we, along with everyone in Newbern that we know of, are all healthy and safe. It can be easy to overlook in this time where we sit inside and are told to wait, having to see each other now only as a thumbnail. We were lucky enough to make it halfway through the semester and reaching the point of putting up her walls, and we have learned so much along the way.
We hope that their work is useful for the future of Rural Studio and will be constructed for Ophelia to enjoy.
Wow look at these fine folks of 3rd-years! Sad to see them go, and sooner than expected, but now their train rides on to a new path. Hope to see some faces back in Hale County for their 5th year. Always remember folks, be serious, but be silly!