As architects we work in a profession that is highly collaborative in nature. Despite the painstaking thought and detail that we put into our construction documents, they are still only drawings. We rely on the builders we work with to bring our vision to reality. We are fortunate to live in Vermont where we are surrounded by a network of highly-skilled and dedicated craftsmen to work with. The stuff we build with is big and heavy. Making the pieces all come together is not easy and requires a combination of heavy equipment, hard work and attention to detail. Thanks to all the great craftsmen we have the pleasure of working with!!
We are fast approaching the final stages of the Autumn Hill Lane project and its looking great. Here are some progress shots. The interior shots show the main open living space (21' tall) which will contain the kitchen, dining and living room. The exterior windows face south and look out onto adjacent woods. The site is a south-facing slope, with the bedrooms located on a walk-out level below the main living space. The effect of the elevated floor level and large windows in the main living space is of being in a tree house. The exterior shots show the front (north) elevation with cement board siding and aluminum trim partially installed.
A few images of the newest addition to the prana table series. This table features a live-edge walnut slab that is 42" wide and 108" long. The base is a modern version of a traditional trestle design made from blackened steel and walnut. The steel provides a dramatic combination of structural stability and thin, clean lines. Kirk Williams fabricated the steel base and Brian Jones fabricated the wood components. Images of a matching walnut bench will be coming shortly.
Exterior siding work is almost complete now. The interior insulation work continues, plumbing and electrical rough-in work is complete, and sheetrock work begins this week. Got some great photos of the front of the house this weekend. The steel stair stringers have been installed on the front porch. The web for these stringers is 1/2" thick plate steel that was water-jet cut using digital files sent to the fabricator. Kirk Williams then worked his magic to weld flanges on all sides of the web, following the profile of the steps. Kirk then clamped this unit onto the main steel beams and field-welded the connection. After some clean up work and paint, the connection is seamless. The inside faces of the beams have steel tabs to anchor the wood deck framing.
Great progress continues to be made on the Chase Street project. The windows are in, exterior doors are in (except for the sliding barn door on the storage room), and siding will begin next week. The roof membrane is done and the skylight is installed. This week, some great exterior steel structural elements went up. On the front entry porch there are two slender steel pipe columns that will support the front porch roof. On the back side of the house, there are three steel pipe columns to support the second floor deck. These sit on exposed hockey puck spacers to isolate the steel posts from moisture in the concrete piers (perfect size and material for this application, this time of year hockey pucks are not hard to come by in Vermont) . At the top of these posts, the connection to the wood framing is exposed, creating another nice steel detail. The last image gives a sense of the loft-like living space on the second floor, which is really one large space with two small rooms for closets, bathroom and laundry. The proportions of this space are really great, with lots of natural light and interesting sight-lines.
Progress on the project has been great thanks to hard work and good weather. Roof framing is complete, and the final siding selections have been made. The windows have been delivered and will be installed this week. Framing of the entry porch roof has begun. It is now possible to look out the second floor windows and appreciate the great views of the Winooski River and downtown Winooski. Design work continues for the kitchens, bathrooms and interior finishes.
Construction is underway for the new house on Chase Street in Burlington. The house will float above the ground on an exposed steel frame. All of the concrete foundation work for the project is pre-cast. The steel frame sits on nine pre-cast concrete piers, each of which weighs approximately 8,000 lbs. The piers were set with remarkable precision by Island Excavating, each on a bed of compacted stone. Underground utilities will run up into the building through pre-cast concrete vaults which will be insulated. On-site excavation and foundation work has been kept to a minimum with this system. In only three days of work, the holes for the piers were dug, the piers were set and back-filled, the mechanical vaults were set in place, and the steel frame was erected and bolted together. The framing will begin this week (weather permitting) for the first floor deck and walls, which will be a conventional wood system.