University of Tennessee (Samuel)

Adventures in KnoxVegas as kings and queens of our concrete castle



Sep '08 - Feb '13

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    2009 + EPA competition project

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jan 12, '09 10:43 PM EST

    I did not plan to be in Knoxville this January. The plan was to be in Zurich right now studying at the ETH. BUT! As we all know plans change and that is often the case when other people are involved. aka. people in the admission's office.

    So my application was deferred to the fall and I am in beautiful[ish] Knoxville, once again. However, going to the ETH in the fall has not proved to be a small task. I have now effectively signed up for an extra semester at school because I will not be able to take the 480/481 courses which are only offered in the fall.

    That is okay though because other opportunities have presented themselves in the meantime. Rather than taking a typical studio this semester, I am working on a competition project (see link below) with a small group of other 4th and 5th year students and competing for a $100,000 grant from the EPA. Very cool.

    EPA p3 competition

    Assuming you won't dig around to find our entry information, here is a bit from our abstract:

    In 1933 the Tennessee valley Authority constructed a model community, Norris, Tennessee, as part of the Norris Dam construction project. A key feature of this New Deal village was the Norris House, a series of home designs built as models for modern, efficient, and sustainable living. We propose, in light of the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project, to reinterpret the Norris paradigm and create a New Norris House - a sustainable home designed for the 21st century.

    As with the original Norris designs, the home created in this project will utilize state of the art technologies and techniques. The structure will also use green and other sustainable materials in construction. Yet the challenge will go beyond the creation of a model home design. The structure will also have to address many of the community and legal constraints that currently deter sustainable home construction. The student design will have to be an affordable home buildable in the current city of Norris. To accomplish this, students will have to consult with community residents, work within local codes, and produce a structure that is compatible with the town’s National Register Historic District.

    All the entries will be exhibited in April and we have somewhere in the neighborhood of $5000 specifically allocated for presentation materials. A lot of potential to do some really cool stuff. Outside of the graphic presentation, initial thoughts are 3d printed models, full scale details, building a large wall section, etc.

    So needless to say I am rather excited to see where this takes us.

    I am doing another independent study too, but i will talk about that later.

    I hate long posts. Writing and reading them.

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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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