ARST 436: Architecture II

This course is a research-design-build studio focused on a single, semester-long project. The intent of this course is to further develop students’ awareness and understanding of the built environment through both the study of project-related historical and theoretical issues and hands-on design and fabrication. Working through an intensive sequence of research, design, and fabrication phases, the studio will undertake to identify, comprehend, and address the theoretical issues at stake in the semester-long project, develop design work that responds to these issues, and collectively work together toward the full-scale realization of the design work created by the studio. As the semester progresses, additional design, representation, and production tools will be introduced and used for developing work for the project, from graphics software to the laser cutter.

Architecture takes place at Wesleyan’s North Studio.

Click here to view the North Studio website for more information and media on the Architecture II program

ARST 436: Architecture II building

Past Projects

  • 2011: Bird Blind Shelter

    North Studio is working on a new project at the Bent of the River Audubon Center located in Southbury, CT. Students will be designing and constructing a bird blind shelter for the community of Southbury and surrounding areas.

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    More about 2011: Bird Blind Shelter
  • 2009: Wesleyan Sukkah

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    A Sukkah is a temporary structure erected every fall for Sukkot – the annual feast of tabernacles – the sukkah offers students a place to pray, study, eat, sleep, dwell, and socialize.

    In the spring of 2009, North Studio worked with Wesleyan’s Center for Jewish Life to create a new university sukkah. In response, North Studio designed and built a structure to harmonize with the surrounding landscape – to be inviting, approachable, and intriguing to anyone walking by – while simultaneously maintaining the “intentional sacred space” and privacy expected for the sukkah’s religious users.

    More about 2009: Wesleyan Sukkah

    Beyond the requirements for its religious use, the Wesleyan Sukkah also needed to accommodate 50 people, withstand outdoor exposure, repeated assembly and disassembly, and store easily.

    The final design is sited at the top of a hill at the center of campus that is both serene and social. The Sukkah’s simplicity of construction and ephemeral tectonics reinforce its historical ties to nomadic huts, while its explicit impermanence encourages both introspection on the fragility of human life and an awareness of the vastness of the built and natural world of which it is a part.

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    Watch to learn more about the Wesleyan Sukkah:

    Read more about the project in the Wesleyan Connection:

    “Jewish Community Celebrates Holiday in Student-Designed WesSukkah” (9/22/09)

    “WesSukkah Dedicated Oct. 3” (10/8/09)

  • 2008: Audubon Viewing Platform

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    In 2008 student s constructed a viewing platform at the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary and Cranberry Bog named SplitFrame. It is a wildlife-viewing structure designed and constructed to maximize environmental exposure while minimizing impact. At the core of the project are two integral pieces – a floating Observation n Deck and an elevated Viewing Station – connected via a hinged staircase, allowing the Observation Deck to rise and fall with the seasonal change in water levels. The project is situated at the end of a long berm, a vestige of the wildlife sanctuary’s former use as a commercial cranberry bog. This existing berm was integrated into the project as an access path, drawing visitors out over the water, under the Viewing Station, and onto a ramp to the Observation Deck.

    More about 2008: Audubon Viewing Platform

    Informed by research on sustainable construction technologies and building materials, design precedents, and the project’s 19-acre site, SplitFrame was undertaken as a collaborative research/design/build project involving 15 undergraduate architecture students, the design studio instructor, two ornithology research scientists, and the Audubon Society client. Students learned ways to focus and apply design research, manage a limited budget, limited materials, and limited site access, while the client regained access to the sanctuary.

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    Listen to the professor’s own reflections on the project:

    Read more about the project in the Wesleyan Connection:

    “Students Create Innovative Structure for Audubon Society” (9/23/08)

    “Architectural Design, Creation by Students Draws Interest” (10/20/08)

    “Student-Created ‘SplitFrame’ Wins National AIA Award” (8/03/10)