MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM
DESIGN—BUILD STUDIO, SUMMER 2011
Decking of Bridge and Classroom Trellis Construction
Bench and Shed Construction
MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE
MassArtâ€™s Master of Architecture Program combines professional requirements with hands-on design-build experience focused on community living and working spaces. The program educates socially aware artisan-architects who are versatile problem solvers and skilled collaborators dedicated to sustainable improvement of the built environment. Students develop a personal language of form and a responsible design ethic from the study of current, visionary, historic and vernacular architectures and experimentation with the intrinsic properties and geometries of materials and building systems. Frequent critiques by faculty, guests and visiting design/construction professionals help students further refine their visions and designs. A central component of the curriculum is a community project that promotes interaction between community members, architects, builders and engineers. Students lead a project and develop communication skills between professionals in the design and construction of habitable spaces with local community partners. Through hands-on experience, students learn to appreciate the role of the architect in society while exploring the expressive potential of building materials and structural systems. Founded in 1873 as the first degree-granting college of art, Massachusetts College of Art and Design remains unique as the only independent, public college of art and design in the United States. The university offers top-ranked masterâ€™s degrees in eleven disciplines, and enrolls 1750 undergraduates and 195 graduate students each year. The urban campus offers housing for graduate students and more than 1,000,000 square feet of studio, workshop, classroom and gallery space in downtown Boston.
For more information please visit massartgraduateprograms.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617.879.7166
The scope of MassArt’s 2011 Design-Build project was to introduce a new outdoor interactive learning center in the school yard the Dennis C. Haley Public School in Roslindale, MA. The program included site elements that support the school’s philosophy of “place-based” learning about the environment and their close relationship with the nearby Boston Nature Center.
The existing school yard offered an overgrown natural area with a swale, shady trees and various plantings. The concept was to transform this natural area into an inviting, safe place for learning and discovery by creating paths, educational nodes, seating, raised garden planters and a shaded outdoor area for teaching. The project was designed to complement the natural environment and draw students into the area with the built elements while still maintaining the sense of the â€œundiscoveredâ€? natural setting, thereby reflecting the schools emphasis on living, learning and working in the local environment.
4 Design Development
Design Development The semester began with an intensive threeâ€“week design charrette, anchored by weekly community meetings with the Haley School students, parents, teachers and administrators. The MassArt students arrived at their final design through repeated small group design sessions followed by large group discussions. Through this process commonalities in the designs were extracted and within two weeks the students were able to present a collaborative initial design to the Haley School.
Design Development 5
6 Design Development
After the initial design proposal, the students met with local engineers, contractors and landscape architects to solidify building methods, materials and processes for the project. Students also developed a project schedule and materials budget. In the third week, the students presented the finalized design to the school and provided construction drawings to the city of Boston.
Design Development 7
8 Design Development
Design Development 9
CONSTRUCTION Preparation of the site involved selective tree removal and replanting in addition to clearing overgrowth and previous remaining garden planter boxes. Once clear the area was measured and the footing locations for the bridge and classroom were laid out. Digging the footings proved to be one of the most strenuous aspects of the project as each of the twenty five footing holes required a twoâ€“foot diameter and a depth of approximately four and one half feet.
The footings were used as the foundation for both the bridge and classroom structural beams and columns. Once the footing holes were completed, the setting and leveling of the sonotubes began. The bridge had fewer, smaller tubes and was the first to be set and poured; this was followed shortly by the classroom. For the entire project, over 400 bags of concrete were mixed and poured by hand, the majority of which went directly into the footings.
The trellis columns consisted of ten steel members with various tabs and caps relating to the interlocking beams, benches and shed designs. A small group of students went offâ€“site to MassArtâ€™s metal shop and learned to cut, drill and weld the various steel parts together in order to fabricate the ten custom columns. The finished product was then sent to a local galvanizer and erected on site. Both the bridge and the classroom decking reflected the triangular decking pattern found throughout the design and as a result required intricate blocking and angled cuts. The framing material was pressure treated wood and the decking material was a mahogany species, called Red Meranti, which had been suggested by the advising contractor for its availability, durability and beauty.
The trellis was constructed of Red Meranti boards bolted at varying angles to large Douglas Fir beams resting on the fabricated steel columns. Although modeled and drawn during the design phase of the project there was some anticipated onâ€“site adjustments to install the trellis pieces optimally. The angular quality of the trellis reflects the patterning of the decking and bridge allowing for shading in the classroom and garden shed portion of the project.
The program requirements for seating and a garden tool shed were integrated into the outdoor classroom structure. The benches framing the classroom deck are made of the same Douglas Fir seen overhead in the beams and are supported by tabs welded into the steel columns. The garden shed is a small rectangular space faced with diagonal boards of the Red Meranti that carry the pattern from the floor to the trellis. The location of the shed and its large sliding door on the shed allows for easy access to the garden tools inside and the adjacent planter boxes. The shed roof is pitched to direct rainwater into a barrel used for watering the garden, thereby serving as a demonstration to the school children about and conservation.
20 PROJECT COMPLETION
A significant component of the Haley School curriculum involves each student participating in gardening and planting during the fall and spring months. In order to facilitate the garden education element, the planter boxes were designed to be more ergonomic for the children: raised, rectangular beds and a shallower width allow small arms and legs to stand near the planters and access the entire bed area. The planters have a poured concrete perimeter wall capped with Red Meranti and are surrounded with permeable pavers.
PROJECT COMPLETION 21
The educational nodes component of the program was a chance to incorporate a few fun and interactive elements into the design. The nodes came directly from suggestions by parents and teachers; they incorporate the nature and exploration elements found in the curriculum. The nodes include a xylophone, a measuring ruler inset with oneâ€“inch tiles in rows of twelve, stump jumps, a balance beam and a Haley School boat submerged into the swale.
22 PROJECT COMPLETION
Beginning with three weeks of intense design and ending with eight weeks of intense construction, the Haley School Design-Build project was complete. The new school yard area provides the Haley School with a more inhabitable space suitable for their unique place-based learning philosophy. The MassArt Masters of Architecture students had experienced their own place-based learning in the realities of working with other designers, clients, consultants, budgets and vendors. Through eight weeks of construction, the students gained hands-on experience with site preparation, pouring foundations, wood framing, steel welding and working together to finish a project on time and on budget.
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24 PROJECT COMPLETION
Professor: Sam Batchelor TA: Mike Ricciuti TA: Chris Wortley Matt Halstead Anh Tuan Trieu Khuyen Luong Colin Murtaugh
Brian Barrett Mark Riemitis Alyson Cotton Rebecca Ray
Elizabeth Hidalgo Mythili Pragada Tara Anderson
acknowledgments The entire 2011 Design-Build Team would like to thank all those who donated their time and expertise to the success of this project:
Ross Wilson - Haley Sschool Erika Quigley - Boston Nature Center Khadijah Brown - Boston Public Schools Erik Nelson - Structures Workshop Steve Payne - Payne/Bouchier Charlotte Barrows - Landworks Studio Sam Batchelor - designLAB architects Bond Brothers Colony Tool Supply Structures Workshop