As the team prepared to start installing the walkway structure, a pull-out load test done in order to understand the strength of the brick, and its relationship to the HILTI anchors. The team installed two anchors with washers and nuts at different locations on the wall and tested both to failure load….and they passed!!
Shortly before the team left for Birmingham, the electrical was roughed in. This week, thanks to Mason’s help, it finally became live!
In preparation for putting up the wall plates, for the walkway, the Horseshoe Courtyard team set up scaffolding on-site, and ground off the old threaded rods on the East facade. These rods used to be part of the structure of the historic balconies, back in the late 1800s.
Testing jig, and ease of temporary attachment to the wall with Tapcons and washers. Initial leveling of tabs done with string attached to the 2×4.
The team also took a day trip back to the shop to cut the 5/8 inch threaded rods that will be used to fasten the walkway pieces, as well as the footing plates to the concrete. And the 1/2 inch rods that will connect the screens to each other.
After months of fabricating at the shop, we are finally back in Hale! Thanks to Mason, and Shane from Stillwater, we were able to take all the pieces from Jim’s shop to Metal Works, and finally to Morrisette.
The last few pieces the team worked on were for the walkway, which were dry-fitted at the shop before delivering everything to the galvanizing plant.
We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have spent time at the shop and become empowered with new metalworking, and welding skills!
Luis at the grill
What is a celebration without tacos? After wrapping up fabrication, Luis and Flo made carne asada and al pastor tacos! A huge shoutout for them, not only for teaching us, and making sure we didn’t injure ourselves but for sharing stories and becoming part of our team.
These kids have been here for about month…and haven’t stopped sweating since. The 3rd-Year Studio is such a small, diverse group of students who work together in Red Barn and live together at the Morrisette campus. Throughout the semester, they create their own blended community — full of fresh baked pies and domino games — and work hard at becoming better architects while learning about the people and this place that’s their new, borrowed home.
Instead of the paper and pens of syllabus week, the 3rd-years had shovels, gloves, and paint brushes for what is called “neck-down” week. This first week, everybody participated in small jobs around our campus and became intimately familiar with existing Rural Studio projects.
And after neckdowns, the 3rd-years had their first assignment; the Sawhorse Race. The students split up into teams to design, build, and test a pair of sawhorses. They also measured their tool trailer in order to design an organized and efficient system for tool storage.
The students then participated in two lovely days of water coloring and charcoal sketching in the annual workshop taught by Frank Harmon and Dan Wheeler, learning to use drawing as a way of seeing.
This semester the 3rd-years are going to build a home for our neighbor Ophelia! What a privilege and honor! Ophelia currently lives in a site near two previous Rural Studio projects, and this past week the 3rd-years documented her current home and property extensively to try to understand the constraints and opportunities they may face during the project. The presentation team has interviewed Ophelia, getting to personally know the women that the students will design and build for.
The 3rd-years are also participating in Rural Studio’s first quilting elective! Local artist Aaron Head lead an indigo dyeing workshop using locally grown and found indigo, poke weed, and osage to hand dye natural fabric and wool… and themselves. They will use these materials throughout the semester to piece together a quilt that displays beautifully abstracted renderings of Ophelia’s current home.
On Saturday, September 21st, we celebrated the beautiful work of our 5th-year students, Ayomi Akinlawon, Jed Grant, Madeline Gibbs, and Yikuan Peng, and our lovely neighbor Ann at the ribbon cutting ceremony of 20K Anna’s Home. Thank you to all of our supporters and community! Without your support, none of this work would be possible!
20K Ann’s Home has a research and design focus of “aging-in-place.” The team took on the challenge of designing a home for the entire life of its occupant, not simply accepting the narrow understanding of “aging-in-place” that considers life following retirement. This meant providing spaces that are flexible and remain suitable as a family expands and contracts during different phases of life.
In addition to providing a living room that can easily transition into a third bedroom if required (when those teenagers need their own space or the favorite niece comes to stay), the design creates a strong connection between the interior and the porch with double doors. Not only does this approach create accessibility for someone in a walker, wheelchair, or even a hospital bed, it also provides space for families to gather and support one another. The house also prepares for this life cycle with details that are both durable and affordable to maintain.