Architectural Learning Environment

Incorporating progressive construction techniques requires a mindful awareness of the surrounding context and existing history of the site. I selected Marvin Hall for the potential to bridge together the new and the old. A primary goal for the site dealt with maintaining the current road system to enable trucks to drop off large heavy materials at the addition of the design warehouse. The implementation of timber elements resulted in a greater connection with the surrounding environment, which is reflected in the design through outdoor balconies and other native plant life.
When properly managed, the use of white pine timber can be harvested to construct strong joints and connections. The material is a product of solar energy and carbon dioxide. Eastern White Pine is a sustainable resource and climate friendly construction material, a universally applicable heat insulating material and highly resilient natural product. The R values of Eastern White Pine are better than other competing materials such as steel or concrete. In fact, passive house ratings are within reach when using Eastern White Pine. Fire ratings all test incredibly well when compared with both concrete and steel. Implementing use of Eastern White Pine allows the wood to displace carbon emissions from the production of other materials and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, which is another step toward mitigating climate change.
Eastern White Pine falls into the category of a soft wood, which becomes a great choice for CLT panels. CLT captures a commonly wasted resource and also allows for a high value structural grade panel. The building capitalizes on the ability to combine CLT with dowels. The use of cross banded dowels eliminates the need for glue and other adhesives, thus limiting harmful VOCs and producing a 100 percent timber element. To compliment the pine wood, a double skin, translucent screen of polycarbonate sheet filters the light that enters the design warehouse.


Lawrence, KS