Surprise Field Trip!

Today’s studio session was greeted by a prompting from Professor Pastre for a spontaneous field study, which was a welcome idea on such a beautiful day. The purpose of this field trip was to study a very specific set of cabinets that had various similarities to the set that we are trying to formulate for the Solar Decathlon House, which has become a parallel part of the Studio V design/build project.

View from the Historic Charleston Foundation
View from the Historic Charleston Foundation
Cabinet Study
Cabinet Study

The cabinets in question were located on the top floor of the Historic Charleston Foundation building, in their conference room, which arguably has the best view of the Charleston Battery. The similarities between this set of cabinets and ours for the Solar D include the fact that they are free-standing, the nature in which the cabinets rise up and sit underneath a roof truss, the clean plane generated by the small gaps between the doors, and the fact that all or most of our hardware and hinges will be hidden from sight. One of the major differences is that we will not be using rich mahogany wood, but rather affordable plywood and will rely on our design and craftsmanship to catch peoples’ eyes instead of the material itself.

Hidden Hinge System
Cabinets become the wall, and slide beneath the roof truss.

In doing that, we feel that we must show the strengths of our CNC method of construction. In the design we have opportunities to hide it from view, and then after coming around a corner or opening a door, certain details are revealed that show off the grains of the plywood or the intricacies of the CNC construction method(which can look very different from conventional woodworking methods).

Dave Pastre conducting research
Dave Pastre conducting research.

Overall, by carrying out a precedent study in person, we were able to learn a great deal about what is possible, what has been done, and what we want to do. We also were able to squeeze in an ice cream break on the way back, which continued to boost morale. Overall, it was a great day to be a CAC.C student!

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