Under Construction: and On Site!

This week we have been hard at work prepping the site, prefabricating, and painting! Because we are still waiting on D.O.T. for approval to break ground under Haywood Bridge, we cannot pour the footings and assemble the bridge over the creek. We have decided to start construction on land instead! We’ve sectioned off a part of the parking lot underneath Haywood to begin assembling our bridge. Once we’ve been granted permission to break ground and the bridge is fully fabricated, we will get a crane to place the bridge on to the footings to span the creek. Until then, we apologize for the inconvenience caused by our construction site. We’ll keep to the left side of the parking lot under Haywood Bridge so that we won’t be in the way of getting to the boat put in.


The primed I-beams when first dropped on site a week ago.


The I-beams, now eggplant purple – the people have spoken!

Sign up for a Community Work Day this Saturday by clicking here, and we will contact you… many hands make lighter work. Thanks to Bryan, Oscar, Jay, and Jeff for coming out last Saturday to help us install the silt fence and paint the I-beams.



Transitioning between the design to the build segment of the studio will be a first for most of us students. Where some of us have spent most of our education/real life experience in the design realm stashed away in a studio for long days and late nights others have spent countless hours refining skills that make the designs come to fruition. This is the point where the two worlds collide! Where designers become builders and builders become designers and we explore one of the common goals of the summer: merging the two.

So, what have we learned so far about this transition? Numero Uno…just because you are not in the studio doesn’t mean that you aren’t designing and revising. On site is where you find out if your drawings really do or don’t make sense! Numero Dos…building costs money! We have been fortunate enough in the design phase of our studio to have a place to design as a group…(BIG thanks to William Langdon Architecture and the Asheville Design Center) and of course our brain power is free. But, wood, hardware, concrete, etc are not free!

The vision must become a reality. Do you want to see it happen? Please consider donating time, materials, or money to the Design-Build Studio so that we are able to create a structure that fosters foundations for a healthy community!!

Overall, we are hoping to raise $5000.
To donate and help support this project:

1)  Send a check made out to the Asheville Design Center with Design-Build in the memo line to:
Asheville Design Center
8 College Street
Asheville, NC 28801

2) Go to the Asheville Design Center’s homepage and click on the orange donate button on the right side of the page.  Under designation, please type “Design-Build” for the fund’s use.


The Design-Build Studio is split into two five week sessions. The first session focused mainly on site analysis, design, construction documents, and obtaining a building permit. The success of the first 5 weeks would determine the fate of the structure as we would need a solid base in order to continue to the construction phase. The week prior to July 4th our team kicked butt, digging, pouring concrete, and setting railroad ties in order to complete the footers so that we could continue to the next stage of (framing the floor) after a well deserved break.

Here is a brief breakdown of what we accomplished in the first 5 weeks of the Design-Build studio:

-worked together as a team incredibly well
-gotten to know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses
-created an attractive studio space in the Design Center
-developed a comprehensive and elegant design that can and will be built
-developed a full drawing sheet that was stamped by a structural engineer
-have successfully applied and received a building permit
-have generated many fantastic ideas
-negotiated many real world constraints
-have gotten to the know the site and our clients
-have built both digital and structural models of the design
-raised $225
-completed a materials list and budget
-dug, poured, and set the footers

The list gets longer as we expand our skills and get to work on the BUILD portion of the studio!


Building relationships, building structures, and building a budget.

Saturday was the Design-Build Studios first attempt at raising funds for our project. This 288 square foot pavilion will be constructed on a $5,000 budget. We will make use of a lot of reclaimed and recycled materials, but if you read the last post, you must understand that the thing must stand. Therefore, we will need to purchase a good bit of lumber and shiny new hardware to ensure that the structure will be able to support an impromptu outbreak of rhythmic African dancing!

So, the Pizza and Plants fundraiser was a blast! Safi whipped up a large batch of pizza dough and had a number of delicious ingredients that topped PERFECT, delicious, cob oven pizzas! Oh man, were they delectable! Safi had a plethora of her plants for sale as well. The oh so generous Safi and DeWayne helped us raise $227 in a mere 4 hours despite a vicious summer storm. Luckily, the storm blew over and we were able to discuss some of our design ideas with those who attended.

All in all, the day was a good time. The rain cooled things down. The food was delicious. The people and conversation were great. And, now at least we can buy a few bag of concrete to get our footers going!