The new group of 3rd-years have arrived and hit the ground running (with maybe a stumble or two) as they begin the process of taking over Ophelia’s Home project and start to get acclimated in their new spot for the semester. Before discussing the details of their project, the students took a tour of several past Rural Studio projects to familiarize themselves with the town and other 20K Homes around Newbern. Once touring and neckdowns were completed, the initial goal for the newbies was to look through all the hard work last semester’s 3rd year group put in to creating the best version of Joanne’s home for Ophelia. One of the first steps was to understand the foundation and the reasoning behind some major decisions made in the design.
New kids on the block… Meet the 3rd-years!
Adam “Slow-Movin” Boutwell
From: Bay Minette, Alabama
Joke: Today my brother asked me, “Can I have a book mark?” We’ve been brothers for 21 years and he still does not know my name is Adam.
Hobby/Talent: Professional snapper
Yearbook Quote: “Mountains never meet, but people do.”
Alex “Old Soul” Harvill
From: Tampa, Florida
Joke: Some people think prison is one word… but to robbers it’s a sentence.
Hobby/Talent: Riff on the air guitar.
Yearbook Quote: “Surely you can’t be serious”
Daniel “Go-To Goatee” Burton:
From: Prattville, Alabama
Joke: My friend keeps saying, “Cheer up man, it could be worse, you could be stuck underground in a hole full of water.” I know he means well.
Hobby/Talent: Amateur chopstick craftsman
Yearbook Quote: “There’s a stack of freshly made waffles in the middle of the forest! Don’t you find that a wee bit suspicious?”
Elizabeth “Parking Services” Brandebourg
From: Auburn, Alabama
Joke: Two guys walk into a bar, but the third one ducks.
Hobby/Talent: Wildlife photography
Yearbook Quote: “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
Elle “MNOP” Whitehurst
From: Peachtree City, Georgia
Joke: Ask for more info.
Hobby/Talent: Can talk with mouth closed
Yearbook Quote: “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley”
Hannah “Trevor” Moates
From: Ozark, Alabama
Joke: Did you hear about the new corduroy pillow? They are making headlines everywhere!
Hobby/Talent: The Auburn Eventing Team
Yearbook Quote: “Better is the enemy of good.”
Jackie “The Marine” Rosborough
From: Deerfield, Illinois
Joke: I’m addicted to brake fluid, but I can stop whenever I want.
Hobby/Talent: Making coffee. Try a pourover from me to decide if it’s a hobby or a talent.
Yearbook Quote: “My vibe is like, hey you could probably pour soup in my lap and I’ll apologize to you.”
Jasvandhan “Jay” Coimbatore Upendranath
From: Coimbatore Tamil Nadu, India
Joke: ur mom
Hobby/Talent: Binge watching
Yearbook Quote: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days, before you’ve actually left them.”
Jooyoung “Tree” Lim
From: South Korea
Joke: Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9.
Yearbook Quote: “Your secrets are safe with me… I wasn’t even listening”
Lauren “Patio” Deck
From: Aurora, Illinois
Joke: Your workout routine
Hobby/Talent: Black belt taekwondo
Quote: “No pain, no gain.”
Luke “Shamus” Killough
From: Huntsville, Alabama
Joke: I’m in architecture for the money.
Hobby/Talent: Can shred on a kazoo
Yearbook Quote: “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I know I’m doing it really, really well.”
Shijin “Surgeon” Ding
From: Qingdao, China
Joke: At Disney I heard a mother talking to her son say, “We’re in the happiest place on earth. Don’t let me slap you.”
Hobby/Talent: Photoshop, InDesign, CAD, Sketchup
Yearbook Quote: “Your hair is winter fire, January embers. My heart burns there too.”
For the first week of studio a good ‘ol fashioned pull-planning session was held to create a rough to-do list in order to get the project done in time for Pig Roast. The studio was split into four teams that consisted of framing, enclosures, MEP, and interiors. Although there’s a lot to be done for the semester, this framework will allow the project to be completed smoothly with a competent team of 3rd years (good luck finding one!).
(Kidding, they’ve got this.)
The first few days on site were spent digging drainage trenches and preparing for floor framing which will occur next week. The first steps to the floor framing was to place the girder in order to secure the joists. Gravel was poured into the trenches which will surround the drainage tile that is to be put in place.
With the decisions made in studio, the 3rd-Years have finally broken ground on Ophelia’s 20K Home! That first means putting up badder boards, and then again, and again, and again …and again. In total seven times. Hey they want to get it right!
With the exact points and measurement from the boards the team traced the plan of the foundation to the ground and measured where the footing would step. The students also said goodbye to a huge tree hanging over the buildable site, so here’s a quick thank you to the tree for it’s sacrifice. On Friday, the students had an online meeting with engineer Robert McGlohn for conformation and advice on of the proposed foundation changes and approval on the new porch detail.
Finally Tuesday was excavation day! The real fun began as the 3rd-Years got their shovels and cleaned up the hole for the foundation. The students then split into teams to create a quick process for creating the formwork for their concrete pour. Other students also worked on bracing the formwork, laying rebar, adjusting the badder boards (yes, again), finishing construction documents, digging holes for pier foundations, and filling in the smelly pool that formed at the low corner of the foundation.
With the formwork made and the rebar laid, the 3rd-Years are ready to pour concrete.
Since it’s almost half way through the semester, its about time to meet this years fall semester 3rd-Year Studio! Instead of the usual Q&A post, the 3rd-years decided a quiz would be a more fitting way to get to know the crew. Take the quiz to find out which Rural Studio 3rd-year you are!
PS: Did you notice the Polaroids of the students? Taking Polaroid pictures of every studio is one of Rural Studio’s favorite traditions. Whenever a new group of students arrive, they are photographed, scanned in, and pinned up around Red Barn for everyone to see. Here’s a close up of the fall semester 3rd-years!
October 9, Ophelia’s Home was decided! The last two product line homes the 3rd-year studio considered were Mac’s and Joanne’s and the cut was made after a final sprint of drawings and a group discussion Wednesday morning. The 3rd-year students will be building an iteration of Joanne’s home for their client Ophelia.
The very same day the students presented their plans to Ophelia and her family. Here’s to last minute decisions!
The 3rd-years set up their work on site, and Ophelia, her family, and Mrs. Patrick (last year’s 20K client and Ophelia’s neighbor) sat outside while the students presented Joanne’s Home and the specifics of how and why this home would be best for Ophelia.
The presentation included technical drawings but also a site model and with a version of Joanne’s that Ophelia could keep. The group then moved around the property to podiums of perspectives for the client to look and see the potential views of her new home from various vantage points.
The presentation to Ophelia concluded by walking through a one-to-one mock up of the new home where the students plan to build it, showing every rooms and the views from every window.
The 3rd-years are so excited to have chosen a home for Ophelia and she is so happy with the one they chose! And on that note, both are ready to build! Stay tuned as the studio takes their design into the dirt.
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.