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Gee’s Bend Community Regeneration by Design

Project Introduction

Gee’s Bend Design Proposals Gee’s Bend is a small community, of about 700 residents, located on a peninsula in a bend of the Alabama River in the southwest region of Alabama. Though isolated geographically, it is a place of extraordinary social and cultural history that began with farming the rich soil of the Black Belt region. In the early 1930’s the Red Cross and US government’s Farm Security Administration focused their efforts and pilot projects on Gee’s Bend, providing food, small loans for farming equipment, land, and “Roosevelt” homes. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged the community to support civil rights, “I came over here to Gee’s Bend to tell you, You are somebody.” The recent nation wide exhibition of 70 Gee’s Bend quilts launched in 2002 has transformed the art world and according to New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman, “turn out to be some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.” The remarkable quilt making tradition in Gee’s Bend, Alabama has recently made it a destination point for visitors from around the world who want to learn quilting techniques. At the present time there are no accommodations or provisions available for visitors, there is limited space to conduct quilting workshops in the existing Quilting Collective facility and because there is no significant industry the community suffers from economic hardship. This is an opportunity to give back to a community that has changed the world view of Alabama, to leverage the human, cultural, historic and natural assets of Gee’s Bend while also prioritizing the improvement of the existing social and economic conditions. Third Year architecture students at Auburn University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture in a studio class directed by Professor Sheri Schumacher completed the design proposals presented in this publication. The projects investigate innovative and sustainable design initiatives and activities that aim to improve the social, economic and cultural conditions of the under served Gee’s Bend, Alabama community. Research focused on the investigation of how important human, cultural, historic and natural heritage in rural Gee’s Bend can be linked to community based educational travel and service learning. The Architectural investigations provide design solutions for local projects including a Gee’s Bend Learning Center for the study of quilting, Visitor Housing and Community Regeneration opportunities located in the existing vacant Boykin School building and the Gee’s Bend Park. The design proposals aim to communicate the compelling cultural and social history of the community for future educational travel groups visiting Gee’s Bend, encourage economic development and increase the benefits of local assets in Gee’s Bend, Alabama.


Gee’s Bend


Learning Center, Visitor Housing & Community Regeneration Group 1: quilt exhibition & education 5 Samuel Maddox Quilt Workshop and Exhibition 10 Yitao Wang Tower, Pavilion and Learning Center 15 Candace Duffelle Reclaimed Visitor Housing

Group 2: agriculture & culinary arts

21 Chloe Schultz Center for Culinary Education 26 Henry Loose Agricultural and Community Center 31 Abby Waldo Center for Textile Education and Artists in Residence

Group 3: recreation & marketplace

37 Justin Collier Visitor Housing and River Meeting House 42 Iain Shriver Marketplace 47 Samantha O’Leary Recreation and Bamboo Workshop

Group 4: cultural arts, education & commerce 53 Blaine Lindsey WORKshop Andrew Kern Cultural Arts Center 58 63 Whitney Johnson Community Rebuild Initiative Vocational School 68 Ryan Zimmerman

Community Regeneration by Design


Group 1

n o i t i b i h x e n o t i l i t a u c q u d e &

entrance to quilt exhibition


quilt exhibition & education

Samuel Maddox the quilts of Gee’s Bend around the United States

the Alabama art network

Gee’s Bend

Gee’s Bend caught the eye of the international art community in the late 1990’s and 2000’s with its one of a kind collection of quilts. The the quilts and their creators toured the United States going from museum to museum sharing the heritage and history of the small Alabama town. The state of Alabama itself is speckled with museums and art hubs stretching from the Gulf almost to Tennessee, but there is a large gap in the art network of the state, and ironically in the center of that gap lies Gee’s Bend. With the creation of a quilting workshop and exhibition space on the site of the old Boykin school, the gap can finally be bridged and much desired tourism can begin, bringing with it economic growth and development for Gee’s Bend and the surrounding area.

Gee’s Bend/Boykin area

site plan nts

Community Regeneration by Design


Samuel Maddox

10 1

2 4

Legend: 1) quilt exhibition space 2) quilting supply store/gift shop 3) cafĂŠ/general store 4) prep kitchen/food storage 5) quilt making workshop/gathering space 6) research and reading space 7) restrooms 8) outdoor workshop space 9) outdoor cafĂŠ space 10) exhibition courtyard 11) storage


8 9






floor plan nts


quilt exhibition & education

south wing section nts

west wing section nts

north wing section nts Community Regeneration by Design


Samuel Maddox patterning the random

spatial diagram nts


solar heat gain diagram

quilt exhibition research and education retail

The glazing system allows controlled sunlight to enter and heat the building in the winter months.


quilt exhibition & education

In the summer, the system protects the building from solar heat gain, and operable windows permit cooling breezes from the Alabama River to cool the workshop.

quilting workshop

entrance to quilt exhibition

Community Regeneration by Design


Yitao Wang Old Boykin School

Post Office

New Ferry Terminal

The View from Ferry

Gee’s Bend Residence Map

Huntsville Museum of Art

Original Quit Loretta Pettway, born 1942. "Logcabin" -- single-block "Courthouse Steps" variation (local name: "Bricklayer"), ca. 1970.

Gee’s Bend Ferry

Future Cattsh Restaurant

The oor plan of the old Boykin school is a Ushape, which offers a courtyard; however, the shape does not have a clear entry.

W N Fayette Art Museum Birmingham Museum of Art 2D Model The object is symmetrical and centered.

By rotating and overlapping the U-shape, the three sections of the original structure are connected, the circulation is more uent with a primary entry, and the courtyard is more enclosed, connecting outdoor space to indoor space

Jule Collins Smith Museum Mongtgomery Museum of Fine Art


Gee’s Bend Tower, Pavilion and Learning Center

3D Model The object has a shape approximating that of a rectangular space which is enclosed by repetitive plywood.

Extending the structure across the road creates a pavilion for various outdoor activities, such as market, workshop, community meeting, and a observation tower to be an icon for Gee’s Bend that is visible from the ferry and offers a great opportunity for tourists to have a view of nature.


Thought Process

Moblie Museum of Art

Major Alabama Art Museum Distribution


quilt exhibition & education

Study Model


Community Regeneration by Design


Yitao Wang

View to the entry lobby and the gallery


quilt exhibition & education

View to the workshop

Temporary Gallery

Outdoor Pavilion

Entry Lobby Main Gallery

Observation Tower







Community Regeneration by Design


Yitao Wang


quilt exhibition & education

Candace Duffelle

The Objective: create a collective environment in which vernacular and

sustainable architecture is exhibited and provides economic stimulation.

The Research: the dog trot and the double dog trot of the south as well as

prefabricated and modular housing

Ma Modular

Location: Austin, TX

OMD- Jennifer Siegal Location: Venice, California

Flatpak House Location: Wisconsin


location: Los Angeles

Pinnacle Custom Builders location: Atlanta, GA

Community Regeneration by Design


Candace Duffelle

The Analysis:

after completing research on the vernacular architecture of the south and sustainable architecture I concluded it would be best to combine the best of all in order to acheive the best result in Gee’s Bend


Rainwater Collection



Geothermal Heat Pump











Construction Needs


Price Range of Housing Options by Square Foot


quilt exhibition & education

Area Map with possible sites and relation to the Quilter’s Collective

The Proposal: combine the ease and convenience of a modular housing

system with sustainable systems and passive systems that take advantage of the area in which they will be used Kit Haus Gee’s Bend Material Mapping In order to make completely sustainable housing all materials are within 200 miles of Gee’s Bend, with the exception of the aluminum MHS structural system. Reclaimed Metal- [aluminum & copper] CMC Recycling- Alexander City & Birmingham 95 miles & 122 miles

Gee’s Bend

Murphy Beds Wall Beds of Alabama- Collinsville 200 Miles

Southeastern Salvage- Mobile 145 miles

Plumbing Home Depot Overstock Dept.- Montgomery 94 Miles

Structuraly Insulated Panels Styro-Tek - Birmingham 122 miles

Recycled Carpet Tiles Flor Carpet - LaGrange 189 Miles

Tin Ceiling Tiles Alabama Ceiling Tiles- Birmingham & Mobile 122 miles & 145 miles

Rainwater Cistern Darco Company- Birmingham 122 miles

Driving Force & Motivation Gee’s Bend Community Members- Gee’s Bend O Miles

Material Panels - Reclaimed Copper, Reclaimed Wood, Reclaimed Tin Ceiling Tiles and Recycled Carpet Tiles

Community Regeneration by Design


Candace Duffelle

Floor Plan

mer Sum W in te r

Section showing relation to other unit and sun angles


quilt exhibition & education

Inward Perspective

Outward Perspective

Section Elevation

Community Regeneration by Design


Group 2

e r u t l u c i s t r r ag a y r a n i l u c &


agriculture & culinary arts

Chloe Schultz a viable space for the community to congregate, celebrate tradition, and educate visitors about cooking customs




Gee’s Bend, Alabama has been greatly recognized for the remarkable quilt making traditions in the region; however, the need for visitor accommodations and amenities is key in order to keep visitors wanting to return and learn about the history of the Blackbelt Region. The design proposal for Gee’s Bend will focus on providing community wealth through improving social, economic, and cultural issues in the area. The Gee’s Bend Center for Culinary Education is aimed to create a viable space where the community and visitors can congregate, dine, and educate visitors about cooking customs, sustainability, and organic gardening. The site for the proposal is located at the existing vacant Boykin School building. There are three wings to the school building that will contain a kitchen, dining/educational area, and a market. In addition, there is a central courtyard containing organic gardens which produce vegetables, fruits, and plants that can be used both in the kitchen as well as for sell in the market.

Community Regeneration by Design


Chloe Schultz







original concept sketch MARKET_economy

create a focus on the products in order to create profit for the community


creates focus and connection between market and dining


opens up to exterior to connect to gardens and nature







1. Market 2. Service 3. Kitchen/Preparation 4. Dining 5. Edcuational Classroom 6. Organic Gardens

division of spaces


agriculture & culinary arts

floor plan

sectionA_through kitchen

sectionB_through gardens

Community Regeneration by Design


Chloe Schultz

dining perspective

market perspective


agriculture & culinary arts

classroom perspective

Gee’s Bend Center for Culinary Education

Community Regeneration by Design


Henry Loose

Gee’s Bend Agricultural and Community Center Creating a sustainable economy in Gee’s Bend by providing a showcase of agricultural possibilities Henry Loose


agriculture & culinary arts

Gee’s Bend Agricultural and Community Center & Immediate Site


260’ Corn has been a staple of the Gee’s Bend diet for generations. An expansion of this crop would greatly increase the area’s ability to sustain itself.

290’ Oxidized Copper will cover the portion of tool storage containing smaller farming equipment.

Corten will cover the portion of tool storage containing larger farming equipment such as a tractor.


Soybeans provide a variety of potential food products and can be grown in the Alabama region. They can provide another staple crop for Gee’s Bend sustainability.

Wheat and other grains are an important part of the American diet. The ability to grow and process this product would go a long way towards providing for a sustainable Gee’s Bend.

Chickens are a good source of protien for both their eggs and their meat. They are relatively easy to care for and can be raised in the Gee’s Bend area.


Blueberry bushes will form the core of a maze next to the baseball field and will provide a tasty post-game snack.

Glass will be used on the greenhouse roof and sides to let in necessary light and heat.

Blackberries are a hardy crop that can survive in very poor conditions. They need very little maintinence, except to make sure they do not grow beyond the area they are designated to grow. They make a good choice as a starter cash crop.

Lightweight steel members will be used to frame the greenhouse roof and sides.

Raspberries are not as easy to upkeep as blackberries and would make a good expansion crop once the blackberries are fully integrated into the economy. Strawberries are more difficult to grow than blackberries and raspberries. They are more susceptable to changes in temperature than the other two, and would be a likely candidate for being grown in the greenhouse.

CMU blocks will be needed to replace old or worn down pieces and for new walls to account for expansion of spaces.

The immediate site is composed of the Agricultural Center, the greenhouses, communal storage, the roosevelt house, the demonstration garden, the blueberry maze, and the sustainable plot of land. Also featured, but not a major part of the design is the baseball field, which will be renovated.

The north wing of the Center will be a community gathering space with an open floor plan and sufficient storage for multiple organizations.

Community Regeneration by Design


Henry Loose Keeping the crops healthy is an important part of farming. Part of keeping the crops healthy is proper ventilation. In order to ventilate the crops in the greenhouses, alternating roof sections are attached to hinges, and are tied back by wire running from the edge of the section down into the greenhouse where it can be pulled on and tied back as needed. The process could be motorized, but it is more cost effective and efficient to simply be able to hand operate the system (if one of the motors were to break down, the operability of an entire wing’s vents would be lost).


June 1st

Mid June

July 1st

Mid June

August 1st

Mid August



September 1st

The growing and harvesting seasons will have a large impact on when tourists visit Gee’s Bend. While planting is done in the spring, the first of the crops begin ripening in late May to early June. The crops have a naturally staggered growth cycle, so new groups of tourists should visit as different foods become available. Strawberries are the first crop that is ready for harvest, followed closely by Raspberries and Blueberries. Blackberries arrive late in the harvest season, but are the last to go.




GREENHOUSE SECTION A The south wing of the Center will be transformed into a greenhouse. This will be achieved by removing the roof and south wall and replacing them with the greenhouse structure. Part of the wing will serve as a pump house.

GREENHOUSE SECTION B The greenhouses will be constructed of light frame steel members and glass and will house a variety of plants. They will allow for the year round production of food and serve as key components in educational venues.



agriculture & culinary arts

Community Regeneration by Design


Henry Loose



agriculture & culinary arts


Abby Waldo

Center for Textile Education and Artists in Residence Gee’s Bend Alabama


built capital


social and individual capital

natural capital


financial capital

intelectual capital


Community Regeneration by Design


Abby Waldo roosevelt home type 1 front center porch central plan no back porch chimney in center major rooms stem off of living room

roosevelt home type 2 side wrap around porch central hall of circulation chimeny and main public places off center

Gee’s Bend Artists in Residence The main goal of this proposal is to bring education and economic stimulation to the area through long stay studio spaces for traveling and local artist. These plans demonstrate typical artists in residence homes that have gone through a reconstruction to improve insulation, lighting, and studio spaces while incorporating a rain collection system. This system supports the garden and natural dye studio through the growth of natural flowers, barks, and leaves. These spaces are to be utilized by both tourist and community members alike to hold workshops and sell crafts and reflect the authentic nature of the Gee’s Bend area by conserving the original aethetics of these homes.

roosevelt home type 4 roosevelt home type 3 front center porch central entry ramp up to porch no back porch chimney is not in center


agriculture & culinary arts

front center small porch central plan side back porch chimney in center major circulation is center hallway

roosevelt home type 5 side porch no back porch chimney not on center addition on left

typical section through arists in ressident home (studio space) new construction- wood roof plane with clerestory windows at opitmal orientation old construction- existing wood exterior remains

surrounding garden- supports natural flower, bark, and plant dyes for texile education

artists residence and studio natural dye studio

rain collection system- flow of rain water onto roof plane

gardens for natural dye material collection bins- water hog located underneath the houses and avaliable for immediate dispensing onto the gardens

future expansion for shops and classroom


1. original wall 2. long term renovation- blue jean insulation installed






3. short term renovation- spray on insulation installed (icynene) 4. finished product- original interior veneer replaced or new wall attached

Community Regeneration by Design


Abby Waldo

new construction- perspective of typical studio into garden

old construction- perspetive of typical home used for dying studio

section through natural dye studio (boykin school)


agriculture & culinary arts



perspective 1- approach to entrance

plan of natural dye studio (boykin school)

Center for Textile Education This portion of the proposal serves as the main entry point for tourist, artists, and community memebers and becomes a circulation point from the homes to the natural dye studio. One portion of the Boykin School is used to create a natural dye studio that is supported by the surrounding gardens of artists homes. This studio can be utilized by all visiting or local groups that need large gathering or workshop space. The remaining area of the school is left for future expansion for gift and work shops as needed by the community. perspective 2- main entrance with view to arists residence

Community Regeneration by Design


Group 3

n o i t a e r e c c e a r l p t e k r a m &


recreation & marketplace

Justin Collier

I believe that the community of Gee’s Bend represents a unique cultural atmosphere in the State of Alabama, and that the visitor housing experience should be just as unique.

initial sketches

Community Regeneration by Design


Justin Collier existing


proposed Addition

Alabama Scenic River Trail



gee's bend Camden

state context RV PArking Boykin School

+ Playground & Pavilion

Public REstrooms

Corner market

Gee’s Bend Park

New Ferry Terminal

visitor housing

Alabama Scenic River Trail

Campgrounds & Alabama Scenic River Trail Waypoint

Community context The proposed visitor housing would be placed within the existing Gee’s Bend Park, West of the New Ferry Terminal, and South of the Boykin School. This development would contain a community meeting house, visitor housing units, bath house, rv parking, campsites, and a waypoint for the Alabama Scenic River Trail.


recreation & marketplace

Alabama Scenic River Trail

+ visitor housing & community venue

bath house

community venue

site context




Alabama Scenic River Trail





South Elevation & Floor PLan

Community Regeneration by Design


Justin Collier

During the tourist off-season, the “super shed” would serve as flexible community venue. This space would provide shelter for a number of community events such as: quilting expos, farmer’s markets, and freshwater fishing. This space could also accommodate annual events for paddlers along the Alabama Scenic River Trail.

Perspectives A Flexible Community Venue


recreation & marketplace


Community Regeneration by Design


Iain Shriver


Petway Place Thomaston



Boykin School

Ferry Terminal



recreation & marketplace

The Region Gee’s Bend is located in Wilcox County, Alabama. It gains its name from the distictive bend in the Alabama River that creates the peninsula where the town lies. Gee’s Bend has gained national fame in recent years from exhibitions of their quilts. The architecture of Gee’s Bend and the surrounding area contains a mix of concrete block, brick, and wood siding buildings that form loose “downtown” areas for community gathering and visitor attractions.

Community Regeneration by Design


Iain Shriver Plan

The Market plan is designed to allow for an outdoor deck that is open to the community as a whole. A nature trail that is connected to the deck runs out to the water’s edge at a nearby inlet of the Alabama River and also connects to the newly constructed ferry terminal in the other direction. Streetside parking would help to create a street presence close to the ferry landing.


recreation & marketplace

Section and East Elevation The two buildings are situated so that each has a covered porch that faces the other and allows for a deck that can be used in all weather. The adjoining general store has a set of windows that can be opened to provide more access to the deck area so that a community farmers’ market could utilize the entire space. The restaurant contains the same type of windows so that the eating space can be expanded onto its own porch and allow for cross ventilation.

Community Regeneration by Design


Iain Shriver Southern Elevation


recreation & marketplace

Samantha O’Leary

Community Regeneration by Design


Samantha O’Leary Building a Custom Bamboo Skin-on-frame Canoe Heat treat the bamboo

Bend bamboo

Make the gunnels and fit the thwarts

Drill holes for the ribs

Cut stem pieces for the ends of the canoe

Finished seat

Attach seats to dowel pegs on edge battens. Tie battens to 6 ribs

Choose canvas and place on upside down frame

Start tacking the canvas to the gunnels

Paint canvas if needed. Fit wooden beading along edge

Split the pole into 6 equal sections

Flatten and sand any bumps from nodes

Plane strips to 60 degrees

Make the ribs and fit them into the drilled holes

Make the longitudinals

Screw the longitudinals to the stems

Bind everything together

Place floorboards

Start making seat with ratchet straps and wood or bamboo

Finished Canoe

Building a Custom Bamboo Fly Fishing Rod Heat treat the bamboo

Determine where to cut the sections for the rod

Dry split the canoe poles

Assemble the tip top, female ferrule, male ferrule, and butt end

Place 14 cork rings about 4 inches from bottom for the grip

Mount a drill to a table to turn the pole while sanding

Sand the cork

Check the accuracy and bind the 6 pieces together

Bake the rough planks for 7 minutes

Taper the strips

Bind the strips and glue together

Once the glue has dried, take off the string

Sand the poles and spread varnish on them. Hang dry for 8 hours

Varnish bamboo to give it a shine

Insert metal piece into seat post

Attach handlebars, seat, wheels, and chain

Place guides on pole. Wrap guides in place with silk and add varnish

Building a Custom Bamboo Bike Gather bike parts. Salvaged or bought

Heat treat the bamboo

Make a frame to hold the bike while working on it

Sand down the frame of the bike

Use a diagram to determine the lengths to cut the bamboo

Cut the seatstay, top tube, and seat tube. Miter joints

Tack everything together with epoxy. Wrap joints with hemp twine

Once epoxy is dried, sand to make smooth joints

The design proposal is to create an incubator to help the community of Gee’s Bend grow through shared resourcesand a combined capital. This proposal turns the existing Boykin School into a Recreation and Bamboo Workshop. Gee’s Bend offers access to the Alabama River, scenic bike trails, soil condusive for growing bamboo, and a community baseball field. The Bamboo Workshop allows visitors and community members the opportunity to work hands on and build their own bamboo skin-on-frame canoes, fly fishing rods, and bikes. By designing a recreational center, this proposal brings attention to Gee’s bend’s natural beauty and scenic surroundings.


recreation & marketplace

Gee’s Bend Circulation Diagram

Plans 13




Boat Pick up/Drop off Canoe Paddle Route 12

Site Map Circulation Diagram C



6 4

Bike Trail Start/Finish Boat Pick up/Drop off Bike Trail to Creek Bus Trail to Creek 5

Plans Circulation Diagram






1 - Entrance 2 - Kitchen 3 - Rentals 4 - Indoor Canoe Workshop 5 - Outdoor Workshops 6 - Indoor Bike/Fishing Rod Workshop 7 - Splitting/Cutting Station 8 - Planing Station 9 - Bamboo Prep. Station/Rental Cleaning Station 10 - Heat Treating 11 - Storage 12 - Restrooms 13 - Bamboo Gardens

Bike Rentals Canoe Rentals Bamboo Building Entrance and Concessions

Community Regeneration by Design


Samantha O’Leary

Transverse Section

Lace Fence

Site Section


recreation & marketplace

Front Elevation


Entrance Perspective


Bike/ Fly Fishing Pole Indoor Workshop Perspective


Outdoor Workshop Perspective

Community Regeneration by Design


Group 4

, s t r a l a r u t l u c n o i t a c u ed e c r e m m o c & 52

cultural arts, education & commerce

Blaine Lindsey the cycle Gee’s Bend has a rich culture of making that includes, but is not limited to the quilts that have brought the community some recognition. Over the community’s extended history, necessity has driven the production of goods in the home, for the home. This culture of making is attractive and inspiring, but the isolation of Gee’s Bend has prevented the exposure that could turn this culture into economic gain. To gain this exposure, this proposal suggests that goods be collected under a consignment brand and shipped out of the community and into urban areas that can supply the foot traffic to accumulate interest. These exported goods would raise the awareness about the community and culture of Gee’s Bend, which would attract visitors desiring to see the community and idividuals producing these goods. The proposal includes a facility that would house space for visitors to purchase goods, meet the producer, and potentially participate in the craft in workshops.

of goods and people into and out of the community goods

G E E ’ S





the process

from an individual’s product to an individual’s profit

the product the profit

the person

the exposure

the brand

Gee’s Bend goods

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Gee’s Bend goods

the distribution Community Regeneration by Design


Blaine Lindsey 1. Workshop 2. Catering Kitchen 3. Restroom 4. Pavilion 5. Market 6. Shipping 7. Retail 8. Production






1. 3.



B 03













Plan 1/16�= 1’


cultural arts, education & commerce

Section A: through seasonal market

Scale: 1/4” = 1’

Section B: seasonal market nts

Section B: through retail

Scale: 1/4” = 1’

Section A: retail and production nts

Community Regeneration by Design


Blaine Lindsey

Plan 1/16”= 1’ 02 - retail perspective 1/16”= 1’


cultural arts, education & commerce

03 - market perspective

01 - workshop perspective

Community Regeneration by Design


Andrew Kern



cultural arts, education & commerce

5'-4 1 " 16

Sugar Cane Mill

5" 22'-216


Straining Barrels

Sugar Cane Process Section


Settling Cans



Process Sections

Sewing Horses Storage


Sewing Area and Primary Workshop

Cooking Workshop

Quilting Process Section Community Regeneration by Design


Andrew Kern

Northeast Perspective

Front Elevation 60

cultural arts, education & commerce

Elevation and Perspective

Kitchen Perspective

Perspectives Gallery Perspective

Entry Perspective

Community Regeneration by Design


Andrew Kern Wind Diagram

Water Diagram

Reuse Diagrams Solar Diagram


cultural arts, education & commerce

Whitney Johnson Pettway Store





Co Hwy


il Ch he e

d 29






Freedom Quilting Bee


Co Rd 29


ab am aR




William ‘Bill’ Dannelly Reservoir

Chilatchee Park


Miller’s Ferry Lock and Dam

Co Rd 29




   

Co Rd 29




Riv er

Gee’s Bend Quilter’s Collective

Gee’s Bend Park

Roland Cooper State Park

28 Ell








 


R Co

y wa igh






LEGEND City Business Site Route Marker Primary Highway

Camden-Boykin Ferry Route

en By





Black Belt Treasures Cla



t. eS




. e St






St. Water

Other Principal Roads




n By




Quilt Mural Trail Miller’s Ferry Dam


Map 2 Boundary

     

 

Community Regeneration by Design


Whitney Johnson          

 

 

 

  


 

 


cultural arts, education & commerce

 

 

Community Regeneration by Design


Whitney Johnson 


 


     




cultural arts, education & commerce

  


  


 

Community Regeneration by Design


Ryan Zimmerman Location Map 92.8 mi

45.4 mi

In the last few years there has been an initiative to revitalize and explore the rural communities in America and with much debate Boykin, AL also, known as Gee’s Bend, is one of the selected locations for revitalization. “Gee’s Bend is a small community, of about 700 residents, located on a peninsula in a band of the Alabama River in the southwest region of Alabama. Though isolated geographically, it is a place of extraordinary social and cultural history that began with farming the rich soil of the Black Belt region. This project addresses innovative and sustainable design initiatives and activities that aim to improve the social, economic, and cultural conditions of the underserved Gee’s Bend, AL community. Research will focus on the investigation of how important human, cultural, historic and natural heritage in the rural area can be linked to educational travel and service learning.”

44.6 mi

Tuscaloosa 46.9 mi

Opelika Selma 159 mi Camden

65.6 mi

Monroeville 40 mi

45 mi

Gee’s Bend Vocational School

Surrounding Vocational and Technical Schools N


cultural arts, education & commerce



Floor Plan

2 3

P- 3 4





S - 3 section SC: NTS 13


Key 12

P- 4 10

P- 1

S - 2 section SC: NTS



S-3 8 7


S - 1 section SC: NTS

1 | Gallery/Lobby 2 | Digital Media Lab 3 | Offices 4 | Bathroom 5 | Quilting Studio/Textile Research 6 | Loading/Unloading Zone 7 | Automotive Shop 8 | Outdoor Workspace 9 | Classroom 10 | Metal/Wielding Shop 11 | Outdoor Workspace 12 | Woodshop 13 | Courtyard



left elevation SC: NTS

back elevation SC: NTS

right elevation SC: NTS

front elevation SC: NTS

Community Regeneration by Design


Ryan Zimmerman


original building

new additions

space/educational department uses | Textile (quilting, research + development) | Automotive + Basic Mechanics | Metal (wielding, basic metal working, research) | Wood | Public | Classroom + Office



cultural arts, education & commerce

courtyard usage

Architectural investigations will include providing design solutions for local

projects including a Gee’s Bend Learning Center located in the existing Boykin School building. In response to the location and needs of this rural town, we have been asked to design and implement a strategy that will revitalize and stimulate the economy of Gee’s Bend (Boykin), AL. My proposed solution to the problem is to establish a vocational school in the same location as the existing abandoned Boykin School. My goal was to create a design that renovates the existing structure while upgrading and expanding the building’s main features. For budget’s sake I wanted to keep as much of the existing building as possible, use passive design techniques to reduce much of the heating and cooling loads, provide flexible spaces that would not create wasted energy consumption when out of use, and use the proper materials to increase building efficiency and signify new and old spaces.

materials building performance warm air

cool air

Community Regeneration by Design


Ryan Zimmerman

P - 1 south wing

P - 2 courtyard

P - 3 digital media lab

Gee’s Bend Vocational School

Reaching out into the community and creating a path for success for the future of Alabama’s blackbelt region

Perspectives P - 4 Auto shop


cultural arts, education & commerce

Gee’s Bend Community Regeneration by Design

Sheri Schumacher, Studio Director and Associate Professor School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture Dudley Commons Auburn, AL 36849-5316

Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.

Community Regeneration by Design


Gee’s Bend Center for Culinary Education

Profile for Alabama Innovation Engine

Gee's Bend: Community Regeneration by Design  

During the Fall 2011 semester, an architecture design studio at Auburn University's SAPLA explored ideas begun at the Alabama Design Summit....

Gee's Bend: Community Regeneration by Design  

During the Fall 2011 semester, an architecture design studio at Auburn University's SAPLA explored ideas begun at the Alabama Design Summit....