Tag Archive for Architecture

Architecture Class Designs Chicken Coop at Long Lane Farm

Ten Wesleyan students enrolled in the Architecture II course designed and built a new chicken coop for Long Lane Farm.

Ten Wesleyan students enrolled in the Architecture II course designed and built a new chicken coop for Long Lane Farm. A fence will complete the left side and protect the chickens from predators.

A flock of feathery friends will soon join the student staff at Long Lane Farm.

Each year since 2006, Wesleyan’s Architecture II course, taught by Associate Professor of Art Elijah Huge, has accepted a commission to work on a project, traditionally for a nonprofit organization. Past projects have included the Wesleyan Sukkah, a wildlife-viewing platform for the Audubon Society, and a pavilion for the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association at its headquarters. This year, the idea for the project came from Long Lane Farm and Bon Appétit: to design and build a chicken coop that would enable Bon Appétit to serve locally harvested eggs at Usdan University Center.

“This is the first project commissioned for non-human clients,” said Teaching Assistant Julia Drachman ’14. “Reactions from the class members varied from skeptical to excited to nervous.”

First, the class spoke to chicken experts about the health and psychology of feathered fowl.

Jessup Smith ’14 and nine other Wesleyan students enrolled in the Architecture II course designed and built a new chicken coop for Long Lane Farm.

Jessup Smith ’14 crawls through the coop’s entryway.

“We learned some peculiar facts about chickens,” said class member Jessup Smith ’14. “For one, chickens will only accept a new chicken into their group if you sneak it into their coop while they are asleep. If you try to introduce chickens while they are awake, the new chickens may be rejected.”

After researching the quirky psychology of chickens, the students began designing the coop. The class began by discussing basic coop requirements with members of the Long Lane Farm. Topics included green power, free-range area, structure mobility and overall functionality.

The class split up into three groups to fully explore its options. Each group brainstormed about a design for a different frequency of mobility, either stationary, seasonal, or creeping with a weekly movement.

With Bird Blind, Architecture Students Help Nature Lovers See

Wesleyan's faculty-student design collaborative North Studio created a bird-viewing structure inside a 700-acre nature preserve. The bird blind serves as a viewing platform, a resting station and shelter for visitors.

Lots of people like watching birds. Understandably, birds don’t always like people watching them.

For the Audubon Center at Bent of the River, a 700-acre nature preserve in Southbury, Conn., this presented a problem: the swallows and kingfishers along a popular trail were perpetually startled by human visitors. Assistant Professor of Art Elijah Huge and the 11 students in his Architecture II class devised a solution – a chic bird blind they designed and built from scratch.

The structure represents the third major design-build project for North Studio, a faculty-student design collaborative Huge founded in 2006 that is cultivating a niche in architectural design for nature preserves.

Previously, Huge and his North Studio students, who are as likely to major in sociology or German studies as in studio art, conceived and built an award-winning multi-level bird-viewing platform for an Audubon Society sanctuary in Portland, Conn. A subsequent iteration of the class designed and built a Sukkah, or temporary Jewish ritual structure, at Wesleyan.

Nature preserves work well as clients for North Studio, which tries to balance three objectives – producing design research,

Student-Created ‘Split Frame’ Wins AIA National Award

Wesleyan’s architecture design class and its Research-Design-Build Studio have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2010 Small Projects Practitioners Awards. They were recognized for the observation platform “Split Frame” they created for the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Conn., in 2008. The studio and class are overseen by Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art, assistant professor of environmental studies.

Last year the class and studio created the Sukkah on campus as one of their projects.

Governor Rell, DEP Honor SplitFrame Project with Environmental Award

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently commended Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art, on his efforts with the Mattabeseck Audubon Society. Rell presented the Audubon Society with GreenCircle Award.

The Society was experiencing problems at their Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Conn. with beavers who had changed the site so that access was a serious challenge. The Audubon Society welcomed Huge and his Wesleyan students to solve the problem.

SplitFrame, designed and built by Elijah Huge's students, received a GreenCircle Award Dec. 16.

SplitFrame, designed and built by Elijah Huge's students, received a GreenCircle Award Dec. 16.

They designed and constructed a sustainable project under adverse conditions. They created a split frame viewing station consisting of a lower floating observation deck and an elevated platform connected by a hinged staircase. Tiers on the lower platform serve as seating for conducting classes. Through their architectural skills, professionalism, and dedication to the project, the sanctuary is once again available for a unique environmental experience.

Rell awarded 17 Connecticut civic organizations, individuals and businesses with GreenCircle Awards at a ceremony at the State Capitol in Hartford Dec. 16.

“Today’s program marks the 11th anniversary of GreenCircle, an awards program that has continued to grow and reward those volunteers who continually show their commitment to Connecticut’s environment,” Governor Rell said. “Through their efforts and volunteer hours, they have contributed to improving the quality of life for all residents and visitors to this great state. Thanks go out to them all.”

Since the DEP launched the GreenCircle

McCullough ’10 Featured in The New York Times

As part of the Grand Concourse Beyond 100 urban planning project, Angus McCullough '10 designed the MTA "Skyway." By using cameras and projectors, the Skyway renders the sidewalk transparent, enabling passengers to see the sky from the platform below or an approaching train from above.

As part of the Grand Concourse Beyond 100 urban planning project, Angus McCullough '10 designed the MTA "Skyway." By using cameras and projectors, the Skyway renders the sidewalk transparent, enabling passengers to see the sky from the platform below or an approaching train from above.

Angus McCullough ’10 was mentioned in a Nov. 1 New York Times article titled “Grand Visions for a Faded Bronx Boulevard.”

McCullough is participating in an exhibit titled “Intersections: The Grand Concourse Beyond 100,” at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. A result of a nine-month competition sponsored by the museum and the Design Trust for Public Space, the show focuses on seven visions for the future of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx that range from urban farms to high-tech sound barriers for a nearby freeway.

McCullough’s proposal, “Live Wired,” would create video and audio installations in strategic points along the Concourse.

The article reads, “A 24-hour image of the sky would be projected onto platform ceilings in nearby subway stations so that people underground could see the weather outside — a potentially mesmerizing way to pass the time if you’ve just missed a train. Meanwhile another video of people milling around on the platforms below would be projected onto the Concourse’s sidewalks. side from its voyeuristic appeal, the system would allow pedestrians to keep an eye out for an approaching subway train.”

Read more about McCullough’s project in this Sept. 3 Wesleyan Connection article.

WesSukkah Dedicated Oct. 3

WesSukkah, designed and built by Wesleyan’s Architecture II research-design-build studio, was dedicated Oct. 3 on Foss Hill. The sukkah is used by Wesleyan’s Jewish community during the festival of Sukkot. For eight days, students studied, socialized, mediated, ate, and occasionally slept in the religious structure.

WesSukkah was honored with a 2009 “Faith and Form” Award for art and architecture from the American Institute of Architects.

sukkah1

sukkah2

sukkah3

sukkah4

sukkah5

sukkah6

(Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake and Steve Rowland P’11. Rowland travelled from Seattle, Wa. for the dedication Oct. 3. His son, Cameron Rowland ’11, is one of the architecture students who designed WesSukkah)

Jewish Community Celebrates Holiday in Student-Designed WesSukkah

WesSukkah, designed and built by Wesleyan's Architecture II research-design-build studio, is constructed with 1,600 culms of bamboo, measuring a combined 19,200 linear feet. The Wesleyan community is invited to the WesSukkah dedication at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 on Foss Hill.

WesSukkah, designed and built by Wesleyan's Architecture II research-design-build studio, is constructed with 1,600 culms of bamboo, measuring a combined 19,200 linear feet. The Wesleyan community is invited to the WesSukkah dedication at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 on Foss Hill.

Every October, Wesleyan’s Jewish community dwells in a temporary structure built for the festival of Sukkot. For eight days, students study, socialize, mediate, eat, host events and occasionally sleep in the religious building.

This holiday, the Jewish students will celebrate the Israelites 40-year journey to the Holy Land inside an airy, five-mound curving structure of carbon-steel clad in bamboo. Designed by 15 students enrolled in Architecture II, a research-design-build studio, the “WesSukkah” provides a sacred space that adheres to a complex, medieval Rabbinic building code.

“The students have crafted something which is both compelling and meaningful for Wesleyan’s campus,” explains the studio’s instructor, Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art. “The structure maintains its symbolic and literal connection to the broader landscape through its materiality and permeability.”

WesSukkah was honored with a 2009 "Faith and Form" Award for art and architecture from the American Institute of Architects. (Photo by Gideon Finck '11)

WesSukkah was honored with a 2009 "Faith and Form" Award for art and architecture from the American Institute of Architects. (Photo by Gideon Finck '11)

The students designed WesSukkah with 1,600 culms of bamboo, 46 high carbon steel pipes, six steel rods, five spools of monofilament test line and steel rebar. The structure will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 on the top of Foss Hill.

The final design is a result of an intensive sequence of research, design, fabrication phases and client presentations.

Initially, the project clients,

McCullough ’10 Designs Socio-urban Plan for the Bronx’s Grand Concourse

As part of the Grand Concourse Beyond 100 urban planning project, Angus McCullough '10 designed the MTA "Skyway." By using cameras and projectors, the Skyway renders the sidewalk transparent, enabling passengers to see the sky from the platform below or an approaching train from above.

As part of the Grand Concourse Beyond 100 urban planning project, Angus McCullough '10 designed the MTA "Skyway." By using cameras and projectors, the Skyway renders the sidewalk transparent, enabling passengers to see the sky from the platform below or an approaching train from above.

Brooklyn, N.Y. native Angus McCullough ’10 envisions the thriving community living on Bronx’s Grand Concourse connected with a web of speakers, microphones, projectors and cameras.

As one of seven finalists, who placed third out of 400 entrants,  in the Intersections: Grand Concourse Beyond 100 urban planning project, McCullough designed an audio-visual nervous system for the Grand Concourse, using nodes to weave the long, thin boulevard into a tight-knit web of interaction. His project, titled “Live Wired,” landed him a $1,000 cash stipend to further develop his proposal for inclusion in the exhibition Intersections: Grand Concourse at 100 — Future at The Bronx Museum of the Arts,, which opened Nov. 1, 2009.

“The residents of the concourse are the focus of my design, and provide the content for this virtual infrastructure,” McCullough explains. “They share information with each other and govern when and how to use this nervous system, which is there for the sole purpose of connecting them to one another. My hope is that the residents use these systems to systems to reach out to each other, cultivating chance interactions between individuals who might otherwise never meet.”

Designed as a wide, tree-lined thoroughfare with carriage drives, bridle paths and sunken cross-streets, the Grand Concourse was conceived in 1870 by engineer Louis Risse as a means to connect Manhattan to the parks of the Northern Bronx. Today, the Grand Concourse hosts the largest collection of Art Deco and Art Moderne style buildings in America.

The MTA m.i.c. would allow riders waiting at subway or bus stops to talk to each other, find out how crowded the bus or train will be, when it will arrive or to pass the time. (Graphics by Angus McCullough '10)

The MTA m.i.c. would allow riders waiting at subway or bus stops to talk to each other, find out how crowded the bus or train will be, when it will arrive or to pass the time. (Graphics by Angus McCullough '10)

McCullough’s plan involves the installation of interactive nodes to connect disparate spaces along the four-mile-long Concourse: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) mutual intercom connections (m.i.c.), would allow riders waiting at subway or bus stops to talk to each other, find out how crowded the bus or train will be, when it will arrive or to pass the time. Similarly, the Bodega Broadcast Network, installed near delis and grocery stores, would turn the concourse into a giant speaker system.

“The broadcast network relies on the

Architectural Design, Creation by Students Draws Interest

A service project undertaken by Wesleyan students for the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Conn. has drawn the attention of journalists. A piece title “Bird-Watching Deck Built with Respect for Environment appeard in the Oct. 19 Sunday Hartford Courant: http://www.courant.com/features/hc-fancybirders.art0oct18,0,3286282.story . Another piece titled “Eye Candy: Bird-Watching in High Design” ran in the Oct Chronicle of Higher Education: Chronicle of Higher Education blog . The design and building of the structure, which was part of the Feet to the Fire project was detailed in the Connection: http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2008/09/23/students-create-innovative-structure-for-audubon-society/ .

Students Create Innovative Structure for Audubon Society

Wesleyan students built a bird-viewing platform for the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Conn. The architecture project, named SplitFrame, will be celebrated by a reception for the project at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at the sanctuary.

Wesleyan students built a bird-viewing platform for the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Conn. The architecture project, named SplitFrame, will be celebrated by a reception for the project at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at the sanctuary.

Imagine this architectural challenge: create a site-appropriate structure for a former cranberry bog covered with 3 feet of water; use durable and sustainable materials and construction technologies as extensively as possible; work within a budget and; make it optimal for observing Redwing Blackbirds, Scarlet Tanagers, Hooded Mergansers, and the occasional Great Blue Heron.