Rosie's Home

The 4th Month: 3rd-Year Edition

As the 3rd-year class moves into the end of the semester we’re working hard on our projects to finish strong in 2022. The Rosie’s Home team compiled construction document sets and began framing the roof. In the Woodshop, 3rd-years started final cabinet construction and drew up storyboards to help hand the project over to next semester’s 3rd-year class. Finally, our History Seminar wrapped up with one big final field trip to Columbus, Mississippi, to see some incredible houses of the Federalist and Greek Revival styles.

On Site Happenings

Things have been moving quickly on site at Rosie’s Home. Since raising the ridge beam, we began framing the rest of the roof. This started with the installation of the rafters at the correct pitch.

3rd-year students attach the roof rafters to the ridge beam

While a team on the ground carefully measured and cut each rafter, another team climbed the scaffolding to secure each rafter into place until hurricane ties can be attached. As the rafters went up, the form of the house really began to take shape!

Once all the rafters were raised, we constructed the large tension members that span across the home. These were partly assembled on the ground and lifted up to the scaffolding to be fit in place.

3rd-year Students assemble the roof rafters in the middle bays of the house

Once fitted, the final pieces of each joist were nailed into place. While these teams were constructing the roof, others were working on the house’s enclosure assembly. We began by cutting away the ZIP sheathing where it covered the doors and windows.

Completed Zip Sheathing under the pole Barn

Once all the rough openings were cut, we taped up all the seams and holes in the ZIP to ensure it stays waterproof. In our last week on site, we also prepared our presentation for Rural Studio’s annual Soup Roast!

This included a final review of all our construction documents with our professors and planning out our final presentation at the site.

Woodshop Wrap-Up

In the Woodshop, we began construction of Rosie’s cabinets. We began by organizing and preparing all of the pieces to be cut. This included a number of templates and cut sheets that ensured uniformity across all of our cabinets. Once all the prep work was done, it was all hands on deck!

We worked methodically to cut, plane, sand, and assemble. In our last days, we gathered and packaged all the unassembled pieces to hand off to next semester’s team of 3rd-year students.

Students begin to understand how to assemble the cabinet faces

Along with the pieces for assembly, we created detailed sets of construction documents and a storyboard so that next semester’s team can quickly and easily pick up where we left off. 

Students presenting at review

The Last History Class 

Our final class for our History Seminar was a day-long field trip to Columbus, Mississippi! We set out from Newbern early in the morning.

The day began at Riverview, where we had the opportunity to talk to the home’s owner, who had an expansive collection of period-accurate, mid1800s furniture and decorations.

The Exterior of Riverview

Riverview is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival mansion’s in the South. It was constructed in the early 1850s, and one of its most striking features is a cupola filled with colorful stained glass.

The Spiral Staircase to the Cupola at Riverview

After Riverview, we stopped for a barbecue lunch at The Little Dooey and made our way to the beautiful Temple Heights mansion. We spent time touring the grounds and drawing elevations.

Temple Heights Exterior

The Greek Revival mansion sits on a beautiful, lush plot that we all enjoyed relaxing on. Finally, we stopped at the Waverly Mansion. The mansion had recently undergone a large restoration and expansion, which created an immersive experience as we toured the estate.

Waverly Mansion Front lawn and exterior

The Mansion has a breathtaking atrium that travels the entirety of its four floors!

We ended the day with a dinner at Harvey’s Restaurant with our professor and said goodbye to the class for the semester.

Soup Roast

Our final event of the semester was Rural Studio’s annual Soup Roast! Attendees visited each of the Studio’s current projects and watched presentations from their teams. These included a presentation from the 3rd-year students at Rosie’s Home.

students presenting on site

We pinned up all of our work from the semester on site, and visiting reviewers provided feedback on the project. This critique will carry over and help Spring semester’s 3rd-years get started on the project. At the end of the day the studio gathered for a hearty soup meal.

Awards were given out for last month’s Beaux Arts watercolors and the site sketchbooks we had been keeping. Jenna took home the award for best watercolor, and Amanda took home the honor of best sketchbook!

student paintings on a table at Soup Roast

We’ve all enjoyed our semester at Rural Studio! We faced a number of challenges, ranging from extreme weather to smelly roadkill, but we faced them all with determination and a passion for what we do. Our time in Newbern has taught us many skills that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful.

Group Photo of students teachers and clients

Until next time, Hale County!

The 3rd Month: 3rd-Year Edition

As the semester is beginning to wind down, the 3rd-year class has been very busy! We worked hard to finalize drawings and begin construction for Rosie’s Home. In our Woodshop Class, we spent lots of time in the shop finalizing ideas with our mock-up and getting started on Rosie’s kitchen cabinets. With our history seminar ending, we finished up our watercolors and visited some of our final houses.

Rosie’s Home

Since our last post, Rosie’s House has made a lot of progress. At the Halloween Reviews, visiting architects came to critique and help improve our design. It was not all business though, everyone came dressed up in their Halloween costumes (even the reviewers)!

With Halloween Reviews over and designs complete, we were ready to begin construction! We started construction by re-framing some of the exterior walls, windows, and doors. After the walls were nailed together, we raised and set them in place.

After our walls were up, we began to measure and place our ZIP System sheathing. The sheathing helped brace our walls to keep them nice and square during construction.

With our walls up and sheathing in place, we then turned our attention to the ceiling! First, we set up temporary supports to lift up our ridge beam. Next, we climbed up the scaffolding to nail the ridge pieces together. Soon the ceiling will be completely framed!

Woodshop Class

During our first week back from Fall break, we spent each night in the Woodshop cutting pieces, making jigs, and gluing and assembling to have our cabinet mock-up done by the following week. Our mock-up consisted of three drawers and two shelves. We divided up jobs and worked together to make the construction process go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

The following week, we met with our instructors, Steve Long and Judith Seaman, to review our mock-up process and design. From the mock-up, we decided to narrow our focus on the kitchen cabinets for this semester and noted ways to improve our construction process. We revised our drawings and made a weekly schedule to prepare for the final weeks of the semester.

Finally, in the last few weeks, we started by ordering, processing, and organizing our woods and materials. We have been working hard to plan, cut, and begin assembly on Rosie’s final kitchen cabinets. With most of our pieces cut out and three cabinet boxes assembled, we are excited to continue work on some wonderful cabinets for Rosie’s kitchen.

History Class

Recently in history class, we continued to tour historic Antebellum homes every week. Our focus has been shifting from sketching towards our final watercolor. This watercolor is 24″ x 30″ and depicts an elevation of different architectural details.

In October, we had the chance to tour Tasso Plantation in Orrville, AL. This house has an incredibly rare and intact wooden block wallpaper print. This print, “Banks of the Bosphorus,” depicts a panoramic view of minarets and waterways around the entire room.

The next week, we visited Carlisle Hall near Marion, AL. This grand house was designed by Richard Upjohn in the asymmetrical Italianate style.

The following week, we visited Old Cahawba, AL. On the site, some buildings remain of the abandoned town and foundations outline where others once stood. Outlined in steel is the original courthouse that once stood at the center of town. Rural Studio students disassembled and moved St. Luke’s Church back in the park many years ago.

We also visited Thornhill Plantation in Forkland, AL. This Greek revival house was once one of the largest plantations in the area. It sits atop a hill with 360-degree views of the property.

Stay tuned for next month’s blog to see our final class field trip to Mississippi!

Fresh Faces in Newbern!

The start of 2022 brings six new 3rd-year students to Hale County, Alabama! Get to know the students who will be continuing the work on Rosie’s Home this Spring!

Anna Leach is from Gadsden, AL

Grant Schurman hails from Mount Carroll, IL

Jon Hunt Ficken is homegrown from Auburn, AL

Julia Whitt is from Abbeville, AL

Sarah Recht calls Atlanta, GA, home

Will Robinson comes to Rural Studio from Madison, AL

What’s happening in Hale?

These six 3rd-year students are following up on the work from the Fall 2021 semester for clients Rosie and Frankie. Rosie’s Home is planned as a continuation of Rural Studio’s residential post-frame research. This spring, students will see the post-frame structure, or “pole barn,” raised by a locally contracted team.

With this investment in labor and a covered site early on in the building process, site work can continue through weather delays and should lead to an overall cost reduction in the project. Following the construction of the roof, the 3rd-years will work to design the interior scheme based on 20K Turner’s Home plan, which was originally built by another group of Rural Studio students in 2012. Additionally, they will be charged with much of the exterior detailing of the home beneath the roof.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to their studio work, the group will be taking two classes. First, there’s Woodshop with instructor Steve Long, where the infamous “chair project” is making a return! Students are assigned a famous wooden chair and must research the dimensions and production. Then, they will design a process for constructing it in Rural Studio’s very own shop.

The Woodshop in the heart of downtown Newbern!

The students will also study with local architect Dick Hudgens in the long-standing History and Watercolor class. The students will visit historic homes, churches, and agricultural buildings in the Black Belt each Monday afternoon. They’ll learn the history of how these structures were built and used, as well as the context in which this history happened. The students will also complete watercolor assignments along the way to document what they are learning and build representation skills.

With all this happening, it’s going to be a busy Spring! But that’s certainly not a new phenomenon out here. Keep an eye out to see what hands-on assignments have kicked off the year for these folks.

The Spring 2022 3rd-year class stands with professor Emily McGlohn and instructor Judith Seaman.