Page 1

Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge a personal account

Aiysha Alsane as part of


Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge Phase II of Smith Creek Park

Aiysha Alsane a personal account of my time with designbuild/LAB 2012-13 at Virginia Tech

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Because of the collaborative nature of this endeavor, the design of the bridge, some graphics, construction documents, and shop drawings are property of design/buildLAB 2012-13 at Virginia Tech. The design of this book is a mission I have charged myself with, and the graphics in this book are also my work, unless otherwise stated. I had the pleasure of work with esteemed photographer, Jeff Goldberg, from ESTO Photographics. I am extremely grateful for the photographs he took, and greatly enjoyed observing him and interacting with him on site as he generated a beautiful set of photographs.

photograph on previous spread: Š Jeff Goldberg/ESTO logo on next spread: Š design/buildLAB 3|4


I would like to express my gratitude to the community of Clifton Forge, VA. I’ve left design/buildLAB in awe of not only what seemed impossible to achieve, but also of the town’s continuous and eager involvement. That open communication fostered a great project, a beautiful public space for them to enjoy. As much as we can be convicted about our architectural belief system or whatnot, at the end of the day, we were to hand off the fruit of our labor for the community to use.


Contents

1

overview

2

collaboration

3

process work

4

foundations and details

5

railing design development

6

on-site work and finishes

7

recognition

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1 O V E R V I E W

of design intent, ambitions, and nature of the project 7|8


The Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge is a charitable undertaking that was designed and built by 17 third year students. After studying the town and working with the community to develop a program, each student made an individual design propositions. We, then, iteratively merged our proposals. That way, each contributed ideas to the discussion. It was imperative from a pedagogical perspective that not one “scheme” was chosen. Rather, all students collaborated to develop the final design for the project. We learned to use tools that we became very familiar with, or re-familiarized ourselves with tools or processes we’ve used before.

opposite: © Aiysha Alsane student team during during prefabrication in an off-site facility 9|10


Beyond designing and building the project ourselves, the experience taught us how to raise funding for the project. It taught us how to communicate with manufacturers local and abroad to figure out some unconventional ways to build or unconventional details to resolve. It taught us how to draw construction documents and apply for permits. It taught us to weld steel, work wood, make jigs, build formwork, pour foundations, re-grade land, lay gravel, and so much more. It taught us how to turn raw material into architecture. There are difficulties in group work, especially with the strong convictions designers have. We were successful in our collaboration, and we have grown as designers at an advantageously early stage in our education.

opposite: I. © design/buildLAB one of our ‘CAD Marathons’ during the CD’s phase. II. © Mark Folks of United Rentals (local equipment provider) students and professors on-site 11|12


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Our design process began with the research of precedents, the documentation of relevant codes and regulations, and with interviews of community members. Initially we created individual designs. Slowly, these designs merged on the basis of similar ideas, materiality, and construction, culminating in one schematic design. In a collaborative effort, after lots of tugging and pulling, we managed to arrive at one design that is a result of all of 17 students’ work. Then, we built it.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB the architectural site plan excerpted from the construction documents II. Š Jeff Goldberg/ESTO view of Smith Creek Park (the Bridge and Amphitheatre) from Church Street 13|14


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After we have arrived at a final scheme, we grouped ourselves into four sub-teams: Ramp, Hub, Stairs, and Span. These sub-teams were of approximately five students, with the exception of Stairs, being two. Each developed and detailed our respective portions. Our groups met regularly to ensure continuity.

opposite: all: Š Aiysha Alsane generated from our collaborative design, showing the four groups I. Span II. Hub III. Stairs IIII. Ramp 15|16


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I was on the team that detailed the Span. The bridge spans over Smith Creek and is in the direct floodway. After schematic design, further reinforcement was necessary to sustain extreme lateral loads. This called for collaboration with VT professors, Mehdi Setareh and Mario Cortez, architects and engineers both. With that collaboration, we integrated a steel truss system into the bridge deck, nested between the flanges of the two I-beams on either side. This allowed us to maintain a visually transparent elevation. Transparency was an integral intention we had from the beginning so as not to compete with the scenic beauty that surrounds the bridge. opposite: both: Š design/buildLAB I. exploded axonometric drawing showing the span’s structural elements, wood decking, handrails, and guardrails. II. render of the bridge meeting the retaining wall and spanning over the creek, generated during the design process as part of a set for the client presentation and design unveiling, worked with 4 other students 17|18


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The Hub is where most of the structural heavy lifting happens. It is a platform atop columns varying in diameters that carry the loads down to the foundation beneath. A topping slab was poured atop the structural slab to which all the base-plates for the columns are connected to, hiding the joints. This decision is similar to nesting the trusses between the I-beams. It allows for visual clarity: simple, clean lines, again to not distract from the context is sits in. The Hub is the structural hub like that in a wheel, keeping all elements in tact, but also it is a social one. Three paths meet: Span, Stairs, and Ramp, creating a larger platform for a moment to pause, look out, and decide. opposite: I. © design/buildLAB hub foundation plan, excerpted from the CD’s II. © design/buildLAB exploded axonometric of the hub’s structural elements III. © Aiysha Alsane & Ryan Hawkins a re-render of colleage Ryan Hawkins’ image (from d/bLAB hub team), meant as a preliminary way of visualizing ideas 19|20


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The Stairs are another point of contact to the ground. The Ramp decking transitions to finished slab to gravel path. The Span, on the other hand, is flanked on either side by two salvaged I-beams. There were similar design decision with the Stairs for consistency. We acquired C-channels that were epoxy bolted to the footing. The stairs are the exception, in a way. They are a series of platforms instead of a sloped path. We wanted the bridge to be accessible to all individuals on wheels, so it is ADA compliant, and also accessible for cyclists, skaters, and strollers. The Stairs serve as a shortcut for pedestrians. They connect to the path that leads to the amphitheatre’s back of stage.

opposite: I. © design/buildLAB exploded axonometric of the stair’s structural elements and railing composition II. © Aiysha Alsane & Ryan Hawkins a re-render of colleage Ryan Hawkins’ image (from d/bLAB hub team, meant as a preliminary way of visualizing ideas 21|22


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The Ramp is the gradient. It gradually reaches the ground, and transitions from wood decking to finished slab to gravel path. The gravel path leads to the sidewalk on Church Street. The Ramp is the ultimate connection to the larger network at play. It connects to intersecting paths that lead to the seating area of the amphitheatre, the access down to the creek bank, and the path across to the rest of the park. For economical reasons, we burrowed the land up three feet. This cut down the length of the ramp, which cut down on materials, calling for a more fortified footing, and also tought us how to re-grade land.

opposite: I. Š Aiysha Alsane generated from our collaborative design, re-drawn and rendered for purposes of this book II. Š design/builldLAB collaborative effort of 4 students and I, a render generated for the client meeting and later used in the public unveiling ceremony 23|24


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It might seem clear-cut how we developed and detailed each part of the bridge. But, we divvied up the work in different ways. Each individual belonged to three or four committees. This is because we took care of many (arguably, all) aspects in a building: budgeting, scheduling, public relations, logistics, and administrative as well as the design and fundraising for the project. One of the committees I was on was the public relations committee. That handled keeping the public involved as well as documentation, all the while. Here is the blog we kept, and these are the portraits I took of the team.

opposite: Š archinect.com a screenshot of: http://archinect.com/ blog/23647331/design-buildlab 25|26


2

2

C O L L A B O R A T I O

C O L L A B O NAR T I O N

amongst students, with community, with professionals and manufacturers 27|28


The collaboration is first and foremost present in the collaboration of individual aspiring architects with each other. It was, honestly, a difficult feat, but, ultimately, very rewarding. An upside to that is we had 17 pairs of eyes looking, absorbing, and documenting. We travelled together, shared information, and eventually produced a single, complete, design.

opposite: both: © design/buildLAB I. photo from our ‘cultural emersion week’ when we visited Clifton Forge and neighboring area. photo taken on Ingalls Field in Bath Country, VA. II. also from ‘cultural emersion week’ visiting Humpback Covered Bridge in Covington, VA. 29|30


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While we were collaborating amongst ourselves and sharing findings, we were also speaking with the community. We had the fortunate access to interviews that the Amphitheatre team (Phase I) conducted. Armed with those, we set out with a better understanding to ask further questions. The Clifton Forge community was very involved and informed throughout the process. This gave us some guidance and allowed the community to contribute to the process as opposed to receiving an end-result. It taught us young designers how to present to the public, to clients, and how to at times step out of our comfort-zones.

opposite: both: Š design/buildLAB I. taken in multi-functional Alleghany Highlands Community Services (AHCSB) building on Pine Street, Clifton Forge, VA. II. inteviews with community members in the same building, Shenandoah Autism Center classroom. 31|32


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The philosophy at Virginia Tech allows a freefall exploration of facilities. By the time we were in third-year, we were at different levels of different skills. There was a lot of teaching the person next to you or figuring it out together. It was slow at first, but picked up exponentially fast, because we had 17 pairs of hands working, learning, and teaching. Tackling the woodpile was one of our first feats in construction. The wood was salvaged white oak from a warehouse that used to occupy the site. We cleaned it up and re-used it. This was all going on as we were coming up with preliminary design concepts, allowing for a pleasant and rewarding interplay between design and build.

opposite: all: © design/buildLAB ‘tackling the salvaged woodpile’ 33|34


The most energy-demanding part of our collaboration was the coordination during the Construction Documents phase. The team of 17 that eventually reached a final overall scheme, at that point made decisions at the micro-level, detailing and refining the, then established, marcro-level decisions. I’ve learned, the key to a successful merge is to be strong designers individually, that learned and implemented strong communication. Besides, our long nights in studio meant we got to share pizza in the wee hours. When it’s everyone’s collectively, we really pushed for things to happen, and that passion was a healthy environment to be in.

opposite: all: © design/buildLAB our various ‘CAD marathons’ wherever we could meet in the studios while we were drawing the CDs and SDs. We had many of those types of meetings, because we needed to ensure everyone was up-to-date with changes, especially structural ones. 35|36


The build process, which had some overlap with the design process, started out with a strategy: the Hub was going to be built in the high-bay area, and the Ramp and Span strategically constructed around an unfortunate puddle that would fill up. Our game plan was formulated after having visited the fabrication shops, which are off the beaten path in Blacksburg, VA at that time we were ‘tackling the woodpile.’ We studied the facility and strategized. Once that was decided on, we came back to clean up the place, make sense of what was there and, more importantly, what wasn’t there. We also checked the state the machines were in. opposite: I. © design/buildLAB diagrammatical plan of the facilities depicting where things are fabricated, what types of shops there were, and the kind of existing conditions that are useful to know II. © Aiysha Alsane taken during cleaning up the Environmental Systems Lab (ESL or the fabrication shops) at the beginning of build 37|38


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A part of the process I think is overlooked is the actual making of our tools. We fabricated jigs for consistency, and that speaks to the level of craft and precision we sought. It served also as a way to get our feet wet in using our tools and hands to build things. We made jigs to guide the welders as they connected rail posts to the I-beams and bar stock to rail posts, keeping all the angles consistent. The jigs were purely functional. They didn’t necessarily require any level of craft. They were merely tools to making for the craft of other things. Their making was a good way to familiarize ourselves with our tool belts and hammers.

opposite: both: Š design/buildLAB I. the making of the first jig, early in the build process II. collaboration during the jig-making process 39|40


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We received a lot of support from the community, and local manufacturers and dealers. We worked closely with United Rentals. The work we did was for the community and publically accessible, so the local manufacturers were invested in this project because they are also going to be the endusers, along with their neighbors and families. Mark Folks, from United Rentals is from Covington, VA, Clifton Forge’s sister-town. It was also a great opportunity to work with individuals that have a construction background, access to tools, and also are clients-of-sorts all simultaneously.

opposite: both: Š design/buildLAB I. meeting with representatives from United Rentals in Burchard Hall on campus II. meeting with United Rentals presenting our work and strategizing what tools we need and how to build certain details 41|42


Studying at Virginia Tech exposed me to facilities, resources, and faculty that made any dream possible. Steve Bickley, Professor Emeritus in studio art, along with Jeff Snider, metal shop supervisor, taught the team to weld. We were all trained, and after the initial lesson from Professor Bickley. After that, Jeff occasionally assisted us. Being the shop supervisor meant he was always up the stairs from the architecture studios if we needed a quick question answered. I’m sure we are all very grateful for his involvement. Much of the bridge is structural steel, so we needed to make structural welds. We also welded rebar for our foundations.

opposite: both: Š Aiysha Alsane I. Jeff assists Stephanie with the welding of L-brackets to the I-beams on the Span. II. Amanda welding rebar cage for footing 43|44


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Once fabrication started, it was all hands on deck. We all acquired a similar level of skill, but interestingly we found our niches and mastered some skills better than most. There were the welding guys, the planing guys, the drilling guys, the grinding guys... I was the drilling gal, and there’s only so many holes to drill in a piece of bar stock before a change-up was needed, and that was the queue for me to rotate out and help, let’s say, the planing guys. That way, we all dipped our toes in different processes. It was an organic way to work, with one constant: all hands on deck. The pairs of hands would gravitate where they were needed.

opposite: Š Aiysha Alsane planing wood at ESL, fabrication shop 45|46


At the end of the day, there’s nothing more rewarding not only seeing our work built, but building our design with our own hands, and to say there is a piece of all of us in it.

opposite: Š Aiysha Alsane design/buildLAB self portrait, students and professors outside the shop all hands on deck on the span 47|48


We would spend sunrise to sundown working in the shop, and towards the end, even sundown didn’t stop us from getting the job done. It just goes to show that we could plan down to the tee and still unexpected setbacks would occur, and that really tested us, our judgments, and at times, we simply just needed to get it done. It also spoke to our willingness to all stay behind, because we would not let a person close up shop on his or her own, leaving no one behind at the end of the day. That, we thought, was the best strategy to divvy up the work evenly.

opposite: © Aiysha Alsane ‘painting by car light,’ design/ buildLAB priming the span, in preparation for painting the next day 49|50


We labored with our hands and any and all tools or skills. We would get stopped and asked about what we were doing, from curious passersby. The most rewarding remark I got was they couldn’t wait to cross the bridge and finally cross easily from downtown to the school of the arts. The elevation change made that impossible without having to go the roundabout way, hindering social interaction and limiting transportation to the vehicular. The bridge made key parts of town pedestrian accessible. It connects the public park to the historic downtown, while providing access to the creek it traverses, ultimately providing a publically accessible social outdoor place.

opposite: Š Aiysha Alsane collaboration on site 51|52


3 P R O C E S S

W O R K

from individual to collaborative, merging process and final design 53|54


We studied the town, visited the area, and familiarized ourselves with its culture. With those discoveries, we partook in a series of charrettes. Slowly, these designs were merged on the basis of similar ideas, materiality, and construction, culminating in one schematic design. This is my initial work in a weeklong charrette. The interesting aspect of such a condensed period of work is that because of the short time, we each gravitated towards a focus. My interest was in the railing design. The essential components of a bridge are the horizontal plane that’s travelled on and the components that a traveler would touch: the hand- and guard-rails.

opposite: both: Š Aiysha Alsane initial schematic design for design/ buildLAB Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge 55|56


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Once the merging process started happening, again because of the short and condensed time we were operating in, some gravitated towards a more developed horizontal traveling plane, others towards railing design, some towards the connection to the paths at play. After the initial schematics, I merged with three others that were exploring similar questions. Our combined design focused much on the transparency of the railing. A new question arose: access to the creek, and how to delineate that. We also included a flight of stairs. Additionally, it addressed a sense of materiality of surfaces. Those points moved onto the next level of merging.

opposite: all: Š design/buildLAB one of three designs that resulted from the initial 17 I. showing exploration of materiality II. showing study of transparency of railing system III.showing span and access to creek 57|58


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While I was merging and meeting with other students, the same happened amongst the rest of the 17 students, forming three groups in total. Everyone started out by making his or her own bridge design. As designs progressed, people teamed up to collaborate. Seventeen groups became eleven, eleven became six, six became three. And on the next Monday, gradually, three became one. This is one of three final designs addressed access to the back of stage. It also provided two options, the Stairs or Ramp, and had a structural Hub.

opposite: Š design/buildLAB one of three designs that resulted from the initial 17 59|60


This particular design addressed something we didn’t foresee: how does the railing meet the ground, if at all? It also sloped the posts to allow for more walking space, which we implemented in our final design. It offered a sloped access to the bank, and connected the ramp to the sidewalk on Church Street. It was completely ADA accessible and that’s an idea we strongly wanted to keep.

opposite: Š design/buildLAB one of three designs that resulted from the initial 17 61|62


Okay, now that we had three designs how do we put them together without ending up with a strange cocktail of things? That is when we met with faculty and thesis students to receive critque on our final three schemes. We compiled the strong ideas and intentions as opposed to literal physical manifestations of those. That way, we could create a design that is itself without pressure of trying to be three things at once. Strengths were pulled from each- the railing from one, the path from another, and the “hub� from a third. The following Monday, we spent the day tugging, pulling, and combining ideas, ultimately coming up with one bridge.

opposite: both: Š design/buildLAB I. personally worked on this render for the client meeting then the unveiling ceremony of the final design, worked with four other students. It is part of a set of drawings II. model of the final design as presented to the clients and community. 63|64


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Connection to the ground was addressed differently depending on the type of connection. The first was connecting the Span to the retaining wall on the other side of the creek. The bridge lightly touches the retaining wall, resting onto it. Then you would cross the Span, arriving at the Hub, the walk-able surface widens in reaction to intersecting paths. The generosity in space, allows for a pause and decision making moment. You could take the shortcut, the Stairs then towards the back of stage, or the Ramp and towards Church Street.

opposite: both: Š design/buildLAB I. personally worked on this render for the client meeting then the unveiling ceremony of the final design, worked with four other students. It is part of a set of drawings II. model of the final design as presented to the clients and community. 65|66


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This is when we started addressing vegetation as a second-tier of boundaries. We started seeing the opportunity of a ‘beach’ along the creek, a series of grass lawns at the center, and hedges providing ‘casual’ edges. We also planted dogwood trees close to the road that provide visual shelter, security for wandering children, and noise control from the relatively trafficked Church Street.

opposite: both: © design/buildLAB I. personally worked on this render for the client meeting then the unveiling ceremony of the final design, worked with four other students. It is part of a set of drawings II. model of the final design as presented to the clients and community. 67|68


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4 F O U N D A T I O N S

research, process, details, formwork, and finishes 69|70


With the various committees we were on, we also divvied up who would contact manufacturers. I was the point of contact with the local concrete supplier, Amanda’s Redimix. So, I produced the final take-offs for our concrete supply, and I could do that because I partook in drawing the foundation details and drawings. If I couldn’t be on site, my team members that had knowledge of foundations could step in with some general direction from me, because of their knowledge of those details, as well. This proved to be a successful system to operate in.

opposite: I. © Aiysha Alsane design/buildLAB Jeff Goldberg/ESTO 71|72


Mark Folks from United Rentals joined us another time on site to test the concrete cores from the existing retaining wall. In order to use the existing concrete retaining wall as a structural foundation for our bridge, we needed to make sure that it was strong enough to withstand the forces exerted. After calculation and decision-making, in the end, we ended up pouring an additional footing that was epoxy bolted to the retaining wall to sustain the Span’s load. The engineering department at Virginia Tech let us use their facilities. We took three samples and used a concrete testing compressor to calculate the amount of force each sample could withstand before failing. opposite: all: Š design/buildLAB I. Mark Folks and professor, Keith Zawistowski on site. II. Michael, design/buildLAB, using concrete testing compressor III. Stephen, design/buildLAB, using Quickie Saw to square up samples IIII. the core sample testing to its breaking point 73|74


We knew that the wall had to withstand 3,000 psi to use it as structural foundation. We tested each of the three samples in accordance with ASTM C39. After calculating the bearing capacity of each, we determined that the existing retaining wall could withstand the loads that we intended for it. That is in addition to the footing we poured after some excavation.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB concrete compressive strenght test results, one of three 75|76


The bridge has four points of contact to the ground. Those were where foundations are poured: existing retaining wall, Hub, Stairs, and Ramp. The Span lightly sits onto the retaining wall, not at all hinting at the footing beneath. The Hub platform shape is reflected in the shape of the topping slab beneath. The Ramp gradually turns from white oak, to topping slab, to gravel path. The Stairs’ last two treads are concrete and provide a surface for the c-channels to be bolted to.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 77|78


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With these four points of contact established, and design intentions clarified, we went ahead and detailed the footings and those connections. I worked on those details with Ryan Hawkins, Fernanda Rosales, and Amanda Schlichting.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 79|80


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68


The Hubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s structural slab had wet-set bolts built into the formwork. When the Hub arrived on site, we set those bolts into the base-plates that the columns (with them the rest of the Hub) were welded to. We then poured a topping slab. That allowed the connections to be hidden, keeping a visually clean surface, a theme consistent throughout the project.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 81|82


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These sections show the additional footing bolted to the retaining wall. They also show the elevation change and where the bridge touches the ground based on that. Note that the ground is burrowed three feet to meet the ramp, for a gradual transition and a more consistent slope from wood surface to gravel path. This also cut down costs by cutting down the length of the ramp, in turn cutting down on materials. This also shows the canopy height provided by the underside of the Hub. The underside was clad with alpolic panels, also used in the Amphitheatre, visually connecting the two projects.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 83|84


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The Ramp and Stairs connections to the ground are similar in the gradient each provides. White oak > concrete > gravel. The connections are hidden or minimal. The Ramp’s topping slab meets the white oak decking flush. The Stairs’ C-channels extend to meet the two concrete steps.

opposite: I. © design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 85|86


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The bridge is a path that invites people to wander as well as providing a direct link over the creek between the new Amphitheatre and the historic downtown. This is most apparent in the ‘forest of columns,’ the supports at mid-span. They create a sheltered repose along the creek, providing a moment to pause or lean, whether it is above or below the Hub. This is why the shape of the Hub platform is reflected in the topping slab. The Span is bolted (wet-set) to an additional footing that is epoxy bolted to the existing retaining wall. This fortification is because the Span extends a large distance before reaching the Hub, which is simply what existing conditions call for.

opposite: I. © design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 87|88


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At this point, a second-tier of questions was brought to light: How do the hand- and guard-rails end? And we addressed the inevitable question: How does the deck meet the concrete?

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 89|90


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The team was on site assisting Amanda’s Redimix during the pouring process. While the team was there shoveling and leveling the concrete from the chute, it allowed a different level of control. Beyond controlling the shape, due to the formwork, we were able to control the level of craft and surface treatment, as well.

opposite: all: © design/buildLAB I. Amanda’s Redimix on site II. shoveling concrete out of the chute II. the team foundations

on

site

pouring

91|92


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ll

lll


In addition to being on site when the foundations were poured, we also constructed the formwork in our fabrication lab.

opposite: I. Š Aiysha Alsane photograph of Catherine nailing the lateral supports on the formwork for the Rampâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s footing 93|94


With visual clarity and simple forms in mind, and after much tugging and pulling, we ended up with clean topping slabs that carried out our intentions to our set standards.

opposite: both: Š Jeff Goldberg/ESTO I. Hub topping slab with forest of columns II.Ramp topping slab meeting the white oak decking, with amphitheatre in the background 95|96


l

ll


5 R A I L I N G S

intention, design development, and fabrication 97|98


As mentioned previously, I had an interest in designing the railing system, from the beginning, which I invested in, once a final scheme was conceived. Being part of the Span design group, allowed exposure to that decision-making process. The bridge deck and rail assembly maintain a thin profile, giving the bridge a subtle presence on the site.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB an exploded axonometric drawing of the bridge deck and railing 99|100


We contacted Jakob rail systems in Switzerland. Initially, we were going to design and fabricate our own cable rail system. Then, we found a manufacturer supplied a thinner and subtler rail system. This wasn’t even a possibility had we not called Jakob and shared our drawings with them, ultimately receiving their collaboration and sponsorship. There was no lost effort, because it was after we started designing the rail system that we realized our design intentions. I was told something along those lines once: ‘You never know until you make. Then you know more; then you make more, and learn more...’ We had two types of posts: tension posts and intermediary posts.

opposite: I. © Aiysha Alsane drawing of the locations of tension posts 101|102


5 ft

20 ft

10 ft


Tension posts are where the cable length ends and the next begins, and intermediary posts structurally hold the wooden handand guard-rails, and also keep the cables at consistent intervals. With that in mind, I made this drawing of the assembly process and each of the machines or processes that we used to fabricate each step. This served as an educational drawing first and foremost for myself to get familiar with the process. You never know until you draw, too. It was a useful way to present to the group in a coherent and clear way how the fabrication will happen, since we all collaborated on the building of the bridge.

opposite: I. Š Aiysha Alsane exploded axonometric of the typical tension post assembly depicting the sequence as well as machines and operations used for fabrication 103|104


I produced this set of drawings that depicted a step-by-step process of assembly for the typical tension post, how it connects with other components and what series of operations are needed to do so.

opposite: I. Š Aiysha Alsane assembly sequence for the typical tension post, depicting sequence, operations, and machines used. 105|106


The railing a constant throughout the bridge. This particular image depicts where the Stairs connect to the Hub. Before the connection is made, you would be able to see the section of the guardrail, which would otherwise be hidden from view. It shows notches cut out for the oak to sit onto the L-brackets and nailed from the bottom. There is also a cavity for the lights, and a couple of notches for a water break. Hand- and guardrail caps were made of the salvaged white oak. There was a lot of decision-making done with our hands at the scene. How would we best respect the grain and materiality of the oak while still cleaning it up and making it useful?

opposite: I. Š Aiysha Alsane stairs hand- and guard-rails during fabrication 107|108


The rail posts are angled to maximize the walkable width by minimizing the width sacrificed due to the space occupied by the hand when gripping the rails. The surfaces that the person interacts with: floor, hand-, and guard-rails are made of white oak, and the elements that holds the structure together are made of structural steel.

opposite: all: Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Construction Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book I. typical floor assembly as it meets the posts II. rail detail III. end floor assembly as it meets the posts 109|110


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W 8 X 28 (W8 X 24 FOR RAMP AND HUB)

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3 X 3 X 1/4" CONTINUOUS STEEL ANGLE

2/A402 - END FLOOR ASSEMBLY DETAIL 1 ft SCALE: 3/8” = 1’ 5-ft0”

1/A402 - TYPICAL FLOOR ASSEMBLY DETAIL SECTION 1 ft SCALE: 3/8” = 1’ 5-ft0”

2 ft

2 ft

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3/16" BRAIDED STEEL CABLE

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W 8 X 28 (W8 X 24 FOR RAMP AND HUB) @6

1/2" A325 LAG BOLT @ 16" O.C.

=.:E*,E/=+*I#*+=;#-)?:J @5"6#?:;D#2+*#?:)9< <E*(E/#+./#!E;/E/#:) 2):0#(;+.BE?#)(#?:;D 2E+,#2E;)! &?EE#E;EK+:=).#/!B?D#()* ;)9+:=).?3

@5"6#?:;D#2+*#?:)9< 9+2;E#?1--)*: 1"X1" SQ. STL. TUBE AT PRIMARY RAIL POSTS

4/4 OAK DECKING

@5" 6

46

@5"6#7#%#45%6#?:;D#2+*?:)9<#:E.?=).#-)?:

3'-11 3/8"

1 1/2" x 6" (ACTUAL) OAK RIM JOIST

@5486#2*+=/E/#?:;D#9+2;E

2" x 6 3/4" (ACTUAL) OAK JOISTS BEARING ON BOTTOM FLANGE OF W8X28 3 X 3 X 1/4" CONTINUOUS STEEL ANGLE

-*=,+*I#*+=; @5"6$% !E;/E/#:)#E

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2" x 6" (ACTUAL) CONTINUOUS OAK GUARDRAIL CAP

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2 1/2" X 2 1/2" 3/8" CONTINUOUS STEEL ANGLE 2" x 1 5/8" (ACTUAL) WOOD HANDRAIL CAP

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2" x 6 3/4" (ACTUAL) OAK JOISTS BEARING ON BOTTOM FLANGE OF W8X28

2" x 6 3/4" (ACTUAL) OAK JOISTS BEARING ON BOTTOM FLANGE OF W8X28

3/8" X 2" CONTINUOUS STEEL HANDRAIL SUPPORT L'5@L5%L4@

-E*,=:

3/8" X 2 1/2" BAR STOCK HANDRAIL BRACKET

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1/2" A325 LAG BOLT @ 16" O.C.

END FLOOR ASSEMBLY DETAIL /8” = 1’ 5-ft0”

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1 1/2" x 6" (ACTUAL) OAK RIM JOIST

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2" x 6 3/4" (ACTUAL) OAK JOISTS BEARING ON BOTTOM FLANGE OF W8X28

2" x 6 3/4" (ACTUAL) OAK JOISTS BEARING ON BOTTOM FLANGE OF W8X28

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3 X 3 X 1/4" CONTINUOUS STEEL ANGLE

3 X 3 X 1/4" CONTINUOUS STEEL ANGLE

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3/4" STEEL PLATE !#"#$#%'

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@6

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2/A402 - END FLOOR ASSEMBLY DETAIL 1 ft SCALE: 3/8” = 1’ 5-ft0” 2 ft

3/A402 - TYPICAL RAIL A 5 ft 3/8” 1 ft SCALE: ="#$%&'('1#,.'3.3>#),07 2-#.38'!9':'!;(%9

2 ft

$


I was the person ‘manning’ the mill / drill, so I was the main point of contact with the machine and took care of the process. As mentioned earlier, we all dipped our toes in all the processes that yielded the making of this bridge. As Keith, our professor, rightly put it in the bridge dedication ceremony: ‘You’ve learned how to collaborate... you’ve become a family... what you’ve been able to accomplish is richer because you did it together. No matter what any of you could have pulled off on your own, this thing is amazing because there’s a piece of all of you in it.’

opposite: both: © Aiysha Alsane I. drill press II. Bryanna learning to use the drill press 111|112


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The bar stock was easier to haul up onto the press to drill holes into. With the I-beams, though, that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an option. United Rentals provided us with a Mag-drill. We used the drill for holes where the bolts would go through, attaching the timber frame to the flanges, keeping them concealed from view, maintaining that visual clarity and clean lines.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB Dan drilling into the flanges using a magnetic drill 113|114


The following drawings are excerpted from our Shop Drawings. In addition to producing Construction Documents, we also produced a set of Shop Drawings. This allowed for smooth and clear communication between all the sub-teams that we had and the team as a whole for when we fabricated our design. The following serve as a general picture of what our shop drawings entailed and the amount of detail we put into them.

the following two spreads: Š design/buildLAB exerpted from the Shop Documents, and reformatted for the purposes of this book 115|116


D BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

TENSION POST AMPHITHEATHRE SIDE 5 1/4"

TENSION POST TOWN SIDE 6"

C. R

E FOR CRIMPING

3'-6" 1'-0 3/4"

9 3/4"

6 3/4"

3 3/4"

3"

6"

1'-0"

ABLES D EYE MPED

9"

3'-6"

3/16" DIAMETER

4/A556 - TENSION POST DRILLING ELEVATIONS SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-0"

DE 3" O.C

TOP RAIL

TENSION POST CABLE STOP WITH INTERNAL THREAD SUPPLIED BY JAKOB

TS EVERY 3" O.C DRILLED HOLES

STEEL CABLES LOOPED AROUND EYE BOLTS AND CRIMPED 5/A556 - TENSION POST SECTION SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-0"

PERMIT

04/1


PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

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TYP. OF 85 TYP. OF 85

2 1/2"

TYP. OF 16

2 1/2"

1 3/8"

1 3/8"

1" 5°

1"

3"

3"

3'-11 7/8"

3'-11 5/8"

9 1/8"

8 3/4"

9 1/8"

8 3/4"

1 1/8"

85

1 1/2"

°

1 1/8"

1 1/2"

8 3/4" 1 1/2"

°

1 1/8"

9 1/8"

85

1 3/4" 1 5/8"

1 3/4" 1 5/8"

2 1/2"

2 1/2"

1/A550 - TYPICAL BARSTOCK RAIL POST SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-0" 1/A550 - TYPICAL BARSTOCK RAIL POST SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-0"

2/A550 - TYPICAL T SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-02/A550 SCALE:

TYPICAL BARSTOCK RAIL POST SCALE 1/2” = 1’ - 0” TYP. OF 12

TYP. OF 12

TYP. OF 12 TYP. OF 12

2 1/2" 1 3/8"

2 1/2"

1"

1 3/8"

4'-0 3/4"

4'-0 3/4"

4'-0 1/2"

4'-0 1/2"

4'-0 1/2"

4'-0 3/4"

4'-0 1/2"

4'-0 3/4"

3"

3"

1"

85

° 85

1 3/4"

10 5/8"

10 1/8"

1 3/4"

10"

1 1/4"

1"

10 3/8"

10 5/8"

10 1/8"

1 3/4"

1 1/4"

10 3/8"

10" 1"

1 1/2"

1"

3/4"

1 1/4"

1 1/2"

°

1 5/8"

1 1/2"

1'-0 1/4"

1'-0 1/4" 9 3/4"

10 1/4" 10"

10 1/2"

85

3/4"

1"

°

1 1/4"

10 1/2"

9 3/4"

85

1 1/2"

10 1/4" 10"

°

1 5/8" 1 3/4"

3/A550 - TYPICAL STAIR BARSTOCK RAIL POST TYPICAL STAIR BARSTOCK RAIL POST SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-0" 3/A550 - TYPICAL STAIR BARSTOCK RAIL POST SCALE: 1 1/2" = 1'-0" SCALE 1/2” = 1’ - 0” PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

1 1/2"

1 1/8"

1"

°

1'-0 1/4"

8 3/4"

85

1'-0 1/4"

9 1/8"

°

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

3'-11 7/8"

3'-11 7/8"

3'-11 5/8"

3'-0 1/8"

3'-11 7/8"

3'-11 5/8"

3'-11 5/8"

85


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With clear communication, we were able to assist each other in the installation both on site and in the fabrication lab. This meant that those ready-for-action pairs of hands could be utilized to the maximum. Everyone could help on any part of the project. Just like we collectively drew the project, we collectively built it.

opposite: I. Š Aiysha Alsane the team installing the Jakob cable railings on site, after the Ramp after all parts of the bridge were set in place 121|122


6 O N

S I T E

installation and finishes 123|124


On site installation requires an insight on how constructs are put together and how to make decisions to account for that smooth transition. Our details and assembly sequence showed that. It was especially insightful because we were not only making the drawings but also implementing the results on the work site.

opposite: both: Š Aiysha Alsane I. Hub arrives on site via forklift II. Hub gently positioned to line up with the wet-set bolts in the structural slab 125|126


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Alleghany County’s weather is known to be unpredictable, especially in the summer. No matter how much we budget and schedule, we can’t foresee such happenings. We had rain for a week before opening day, limiting our on site work. Limits test abilities, though. This shows adept improvisations on the work site and learning to keep on our toes, ready to react and make decisions.

opposite: I. © Aiysha Alsane pouring topping slabs within a week of opening day 127|128


That decision-making ability was tested again when we were impelled to clad the underside of the bridge with alpolic at night, with the help of some work lights. It’s a matter of staying true to commitments, and executing our goals to the best of our abilities. The decision was: if we can maintain craft, can we clad the underside? We decided the answer was ‘yes.’

opposite: I. © Aiysha Alsane bolted alpolic to the roof of the Hub on the eve of opening day II. © Jeff Goldberg/ESTO forest of columns with amphitheatre in the background showing underside of the bridge 129|130


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With all the hard work we put in, all difficulties that we faced, and all the fun that we had, we were ready for opening day.

opposite: I. Š design/buildLAB the invitation for opening day and dedication ceremony 131|132


The bridge was open to the public on June 12th, 2013. There was a short dedication ceremony, and then we commenced to enjoy the new publically accessible park and access to key parts of town. As shown, the bridge creates a gradual decent from the high elevation change.

opposite: both: Š Stephanie Mahoney, design/ buidlLAB I. a view of the bridge from the gravel path II. a view of the bridge from Church Street 133|134


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We had the pleasure of working with Jeff Goldberg from Esto Photographics. Once the project was completed he expressed an interest in photographing it and we worked with him on achieving that. He photographed the work a few weeks after opening day.

opposite: I. © Jeff Goldberg/ESTO Ramp and Stairs in view, with butterfly garden II. © Jeff Goldberg/ESTO View of the park (phase I + II) from Church Street III. © Jeff Goldberg/ESTO Night view of the park (phase I + II) from Church Street 135|136


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I would like to reference Keith’s words from the dedication ceremony, again: ‘We [Keith + Marie] want to remind you that while you did back-breaking labor, to realize the success of your own project... what’s important in this case is that you’ve seen the entirety of the project from conception to realization. You’ve learned how to raise money. You’ve learned how to marshal resources. You’ve learned how to build on the aspirations of a community.’

opposite: I. © design/buildLAB the team on opening day standing on the Ramp 137|138


7 R E C O G N I T I O N

publications and awards 139|140


The project has been published in numerous publications online and in print. It continues to gain recognition. Here are some. Smith Creek Park (phase I + II) won the international AZ Awards, published in AZURE Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s July/August issue, selected as one of 13 winners from 652 submissions of 36 countries. On Sept 30, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;14, the park was announced as having earned the Virginia Society (VSAIA) Award for Excellence in Architecture. It also won the Popular Choice in Architizer A+ Awards, in the Architecture + Urban Transformation category.

opposite: various publications and award announcement that are accessible online. This is meant as quick way to visualize, for further information please visit each of the accredited websites/ publications that are mentioned under each announcement. 141|142


US Senator, Mark Warner, sent a letter to Bill Galloway on May 2014, congratulating him on the two teams that designed Smith Creek Park, mentioning each by name. This was on occasion of receiving Architizer’s A+ Awards in Architecture + Urban Transformation. The category recognized projects for “revitalizing abandoned infrastructure, creating new public spaces out of neglected areas, and building new ways for the world’s citizens to live more densely within existing urban fabric.” Winners were announced at the Architizer A+ Awards Gala on May 15, 2014 in New York City during the city’s design week, NYCxDesign.

opposite: I. © Senator Warner a letter from US Senator Mark Warner, to Bill Galloway congratulating him on design/buildLAB’s work 143|144


On Sept 30, ‘14, the park was announced as having earned the Virginia Society (VSAIA) Award for Excellence in Architecture. The jury’s comment was, “The beautiful, sculptural forms relate strongly to the site and amplify the sound of the creek.” This was announced at ArchEx, in Richmond. ArchEx: The mid-Atlantic’s largest annual educational event and expo, ArchEx features more than 60 educational sessions, spectacular behind-the-scenes architectural tours, engaging special events, and cuttingedge vendors. Some of us managed to make it to the gala where we were recognized.

opposite: I. © design/buildLAB design/buildLAB bridge team at the ArchEx gala in Richmond 145|146


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Thank you.


Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge  

an account of my time with design/buildLAB 2012-13. phase II of award-winning Smith Creek Park

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