The semester has been incredibly busy, and we've all been working very hard on our Autism School designs. We had our final pin up for the semester on Wednesday, where we presented technical detail drawings and basswood models to Keith and Marie and their thesis students.
We've been working on this project for two months now, first designing a program that would suit the Shenandoah Autism Center's needs, then designing a facility with that program in mind. We embarked on a small urban planning project next, analyzing the available property in the town of Clifton Forge in hopes of finding a suitable site for a new school. After many discussions, we discovered 8 sites that could suit the school's needs. Each student selected a site and began designing their school, taking into consideration the topography, the flood plane, and existing buildings on the site.
Soon, we stepped out of the conceptual realm of designing and began to deal with more practical aspects of building. We studied building codes, local zoning codes, ADA regulations, and countless construction methods.
The hard work, research, and effort all paid off though. The presentation was full of positive feedback, and we have started making plans for finishing this project next semester.
At times, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as we worked in studio through the night, watching the sun set and then rise while we worked on our projects. But we are now looking forward to winter break, and are ready to come back to studio in January with full force!
The design/buildLAB at Virginia Tech is a Project Based Experiential Learning program focused on the research, development and implementation of innovative construction methods and architectural designs. Students collaborate with local communities and industry experts to conceive and realize built architecture projects that are both educational and charitable in nature. The blog is run by design/buildLAB students, who are currently designing and building a pedestrian bridge in Clifton Forge, VA.