FRAME - DESIGN BUILD
During the spring of 2018 I participated in a very unique studio. Along with 12 other students, we designed and built a pavilion for Galveston's organization: Artist Boat. An organization that Artist Boat is an organization that aims to protect the Gulf Coast through land conservation. They host a variety of fun, educational and creative activities for kids and adults with the hope to promote these great values. Most of these activities happen in their very own land near the coast.
Along with a few other existing structures, this Pavilion will be a destination along a path where students can enjoy a wide variety of activities.
The whole project began with a site analysis process that enabled everyone to get more familiar with the surroundings. Half of the team members had already been exposed to the Galveston landscape, but a series of site visits and heavy research helped everyone understand what it is to build in that environment.
The team then settled on a specific location inside the allowed build area and began to form decisions as to: how are people going to approach the building? how is it going to be oriented? what other circulation paths affect the location?
A series of options were developed individually and in teams. different iterations addressed different concerns, ideas, concepts. As these iterations progressed, they were presented to the owners to receive feedback as to what was preferred.
At the end, the whole team worked on how to properly merge the preferred ideas into a single project and solidify what would get built.
Together, we arrived at and option that featured a very defined grid in a seemingly natural environment. This move clearly placed our intention onto the canvas. The grid would serve as a transition from the orderly to the more natural. As people approach the site, they are presented with a rigorous side of the building that is conceived through the standing pillars, it then merges into the structure to finally dissolve into the rest of the side. This last move is achieved by continuing the grid, only this time is done with standing trees rather than man-made objects.
An important part of the project was its ability to be flexible. This structure needed to accommodate various activities that could vary by the minute. The team addressed this issue by providing an open space that was filled with movable furniture. This movable furniture was designed so that it could be arranged in way.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Gulf Coast Studio is that the students involved did not posses any real construction experience. A big part of the semester was focused on our Professor Coleman Coker teaching the students all the necessary skills needed to complete a project like this.
The work began with a lot of off-site construction that primarily focused on building the furniture pieces. Here, the students were introduced to a lot of tools that will be needed to complete both metal and lumber work
The team traveled to the building location on the weekends to erect all the work that needed to take place there. Everything from the foundation to the last nail was done by the students and was completed in around 20 days of work
At the end, the project was finished on scheduled and featured all the elements that the team had planned. Artist Boat hosted a small inauguration meal where they invited donors and key people to be the first ones to experience this new structure that will serve kids for years to come