University of Tennessee (Samuel)

Adventures in KnoxVegas as kings and queens of our concrete castle



Sep '08 - Feb '13

  • A Goodbye To This Blog

    Samuel Mortimer
    Feb 28, '13 7:01 PM EST

    Hi all,

    I started this blog at the request of an upper year (so of course I obeyed) in 2008 as a 3rd year B.Arch student at UT Knoxville. Looking back, I do wish I had kept up with it a bit better and more accurately communicated the shaping experience that I was going through. I see now that I mostly rambled, but I hope someone made use of it in someway.

    That being said, my time at UT is coming to a close, and thus so will this blog. The College of Architecture and Design at UT has been quietly on the rise for many years, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend when I did (2005-2010, as a student; 2010-2013, as a researcher working on the New Norris House project).

    If anyone wants to get in touch about UT, feel free to contact me. I am going to keep writing on the New Norris House project blog for some time, and will likely start something new soon. And as a final plug, you can check out my personal website if you want to hire me or otherwise pay me money.

    So-- rather than writing something definitive, I have included a few chronological images below and will just leave it at that. There aren't many and the white space between each image represents a vast amount of work, laughter, red drink, time, joy, stress, and connections made. Some probably need explaining, others are purposefully omitted, but most are clear memories I will not soon forget. I applied to several other schools as a high-schooler and UT was not on my radar AT ALL. I did not want any part of the Orange Nation and did not see myself attending. My mother made me apply anyway, fate intervened, and in retrospect I can honestly say I was completely wrong in my youthful angst and doubts. UT is a fairly large school (~25,000), but the community within the college is incredibly close knit and supportive. Even so, I made it a point to branch out and think I found my way to the other side alright while meeting some good people along the way.

    So here's to you, old Tennessee, and thank you.

    View full entry

  • LEED for Homes

    Samuel Mortimer
    Sep 8, '11 11:58 AM EST

    Over the course of the past 3 months I have been working to complete our LEED for Homes submission to the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) in hopes of achieving a Platinum certification. We are well over the Platinum threshold and are currently projecting that we will exceed it by... View full entry

  • Video Tour of the New Norris House

    Samuel Mortimer
    Aug 28, '11 11:43 AM EST View full entry

  • Ribbon Cutting Announcement

    Samuel Mortimer
    Aug 17, '11 4:15 PM EST

    Wanted to share this with you all. I realize very few even live in the region, but just the same-- next week is the big day. Lots to do before then and still lots to do after! View full entry

  • Energy Monitoring Equipment Installation

    Samuel Mortimer
    Aug 12, '11 4:50 PM EST

    Spent yesterday out on-site troubleshooting our monitoring equipment with Tony and Philip from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (These guys are writing the book on home energy research.) I know I am bad about promising longer explanations in the future, but... I promise a longer explanation in... View full entry

  • Exterior Photo

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jul 28, '11 6:21 PM EST

    What a difference a cleaned up driveway and [nearly] completed landscape makes! Great job team!(Photo credited to Ken McCown) If anyone is around the East Tennessee area in late August (such a pleasant time to be outside) we will be hosting a very large open house/ ribbon cutting. More details on... View full entry

  • Final Interior Shots

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jul 9, '11 4:22 PM EST

    I am pleased to announce the completion of interior finish work on the New Norris House project! Check out a few of these amazing shots taken by Ken McCown, chair of our Landscape Architecture Program in the College of Architecture and Design. You can find the entire set on his Flickr stream at... View full entry

  • Mini-Term, week 1 Recap

    Samuel Mortimer
    May 26, '11 11:53 PM EST

    The New Norris mini-term course (5 days a week intensive course for 3 weeks) is under way and made considerable progress this past week. On the bio-retention bed front, the five beds have now been planted full of native water loving goodness! The greywater bed is piped in, but can't be turned on... View full entry

  • Open House: May 2011

    Samuel Mortimer
    May 17, '11 1:35 PM EST

    This weekend our team hosted a "soft opening" of the New Norris House to celebrate the completion of major construction. There is lots more to do and details to resolve, but this event was a welcomed termination of two semesters of work by design|build studio/seminar participants. Many parents... View full entry

  • Siding and Interiors Progress

    Samuel Mortimer
    Feb 23, '11 3:15 PM EST

    Photo credit: Ken View full entry

  • New Norris House: Interiors

    Samuel Mortimer
    Feb 2, '11 2:35 PM EST

    Gypsum board work is more or less complete at this point. So far all the critical details and alignments have come out perfectly-- yielding a great sigh of relief from all parties involved. On a similar note, our interior team is moving forward with finish and furnishing concepts as we move... View full entry

  • Spring Lecture Series Poster

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jan 28, '11 3:48 PM EST

  • Glycol Lines and Design Intent

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jan 18, '11 9:06 AM EST

  • Siding in-progress...

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jan 10, '11 5:13 PM EST

    Classes will recommence Wednesday and there is plenty of siding work left to complete. This photo is a nice example of how the final facade will look, but there is nearly 80% of the work left to do! The wood is an Atlantic White Cedar (naturally rot resistant and a regional species) with a... View full entry

  • Spring Semester Begins

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jan 6, '11 5:23 PM EST

    A two month old photo, but the only one on my machine at the moment The winter break is over and we are ready to get back to work for the spring. The weather has turned considerably colder than when our class was last working at the end of November. Hopefully, within the next two weeks we will... View full entry

  • Time Lapse: Clayton On-site Installation

    Samuel Mortimer
    Oct 11, '10 2:36 PM EST

    A short time-lapse film condensing the two day installation process by Clayton Homes on-site in Norrs, Tennessee. View full entry

  • Clayon delivers: A very huge milestone

    Samuel Mortimer
    Sep 30, '10 11:37 PM EST

    Today was an enormous moment as Clayton Homes, our industry partner in the interdisciplinary design-build effort, delivered their two units on site. Much more to come later, but a few quick video uploads to give you an idea of the scale, site, and form. Very, very exciting for everyone involved... View full entry

  • Clayton is complete-- on to site work

    Samuel Mortimer
    Sep 25, '10 7:44 PM EST

    Work on the house in the Clayton factory is complete in five short days. Seeing this process culminate after two years of design, redesign, and bureaucracy has been quite surreal. I am convinced after spending 5 full days in Clayton's facility that the potential to complete a similar project... View full entry

  • Clayton Production: Day 2

    Samuel Mortimer
    Sep 17, '10 6:44 AM EST

    Today we built a house. See for yourself what was View full entry

  • Clayton Production: Day 1

    Samuel Mortimer
    Sep 15, '10 11:48 PM EST

    Clayton began their production process today and it is really something else. Many of my classmates made it to this facility and have seen the speed at which they produce, but this was my first time on the production floor. They had our half our floor framed outed, electrical wires run, and... View full entry

  • Here we go again: The New Norris House

    Samuel Mortimer
    Sep 13, '10 11:08 AM EST

    Another post announcing my return to this blog-- perhaps this time I will keep to it.UPDATE: I graduated this may with my b.arch from the University of Tennessee. This past summer I was hired by the College of Architecture and Design (at UTKnoxville) to continue work on our design/build effort in... View full entry

  • 2x4 Lecture and Poster

    Samuel Mortimer
    Feb 22, '10 10:48 PM EST

    Michael Rock (Principal of 2x4 design studio) gave a lecture today as part of our Robert B. Church Lecture Series.You can watch the lecture here. How about this poster for our spring series? Designed by 2x4. Not my favorite. View full entry

  • hellllo

    Samuel Mortimer
    Feb 17, '10 8:33 AM EST

    It seems my University of Tennessee Archinect counterpart has stopped blogging---- so since this blog is still active, I will pick it back up.Bullet points because they are my favorite/ a lot of time has passed... -Back from the ETH. A very amazing semester. Still working on posting projects... View full entry

  • going to the ETH

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jul 28, '09 11:33 AM EST

    I am leaving for the ETH in 2 weeks.Question for archinect:5 most important things I should bring with me related to design / study at the ETH. Also, I finally got a website comments??/? View full entry

  • Video Project

    Samuel Mortimer
    May 13, '09 12:37 AM EST

    First attempt at Adobe Premiere.information overload View full entry

  • Moving out, Thievery, Harry Potter

    Samuel Mortimer
    May 7, '09 11:57 AM EST

    this semester seems like it will never end. Bullet points because I am lazy/ have other stuff to do. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -Over the past month probably 8 laptops, loads of headphones, harddrives, jumpdrives, webcameras, mice... View full entry

  • we won!

    Samuel Mortimer
    Apr 26, '09 11:49 PM EST

    I am happy to announce that our team has secured a $75000 grant as part of Phase II of the EPA's P3 Sustainable Design Competition!View more photos here!UT Knoxville Team Claims Top Honors in EPA Sustainable Design Competition in D.C.UT students win green award for Norris model home designp... View full entry

  • EPA installation progress

    Samuel Mortimer
    Apr 9, '09 6:55 PM EST

    Here are some photos of the progress on the installation. progress 4 days ago cypress facade screen cypress screen close up progress as of today big honking pieces of poplar painting the floor (modular so it can be transported in a truck to DC) greywater reveal historical norris vs new norris... View full entry

  • arch-madness

    Samuel Mortimer
    Apr 5, '09 10:16 AM EST

    I am sure someone has used that title before. A couple of years ago Levi (and others?) made an entire bracket of 64 professors, staff, administrators, etc within the College of Architecture. Everyone had a rank and everything - it was pretty legit. The intent was to come up with some kind of... View full entry

  • EPA Competition Final Board: Draft 1

    Samuel Mortimer
    Mar 2, '09 1:00 AM EST

    Here is the first run through of our boards which we presented at the Foundry midterm review last Tuesday. We received a lot of useful criticism and although the design is basically finalized, we definitely still need to do some work making our idea more clear in the presentation. I think it will... View full entry

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About this Blog

School blog of BArch student Samuel Mortimer kept from 2008 - 2011. Mostly late-night musings of the studio, but with an emphasis of the events of the College of Architecture and Design and University of Tennessee on the whole. Later blogs discuss participation in the New Norris House project, as both a student and researcher hired after graduation.

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