Tend to the old, before starting the new

We’re here in beautiful Charleston, SC, at the start of another year. Though it is technically winter, it feels like summertime. The fish are jumping, and the old community build pressure washer is finally about to be fired up. Spoiler alert, we are about to do a lot of cleaning and some repairs to start off the semester. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

What I’ve failed to mention so far is that all of us spent last semester at the main campus in Clemson, SC, which is a special place for many reasons. But the change of scenery from the white walls of the Lee III architecture studio to this vibrant city is a refreshing one nonetheless, and is much reason for celebration. Some of us have already taken that endeavor upon ourselves, despite the tragic loss to the LSU Tigers we suffered in the Championship on Monday. But even in the wake of that defeat, it’s an exciting time for us architecture students. Not only are we ringing in a new decade (and for Charleston, possibly another year at the top of Condé Naste’s best cities list), we are obviously ringing in a new class of Clemson Community Build students at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston. As one of the students myself, I feel comfortable in speaking for everyone that we are pretty excited for what this semester may have in store.

Though a thorough introduction to our talented line up of undergraduate and graduate students is in need, I’ll save that for a later blog post. Perhaps one of my classmates will later take on that challenge. In the meantime, we’ve hit the ground running this semester, and I’d like to catch you up on what we’ve been up to.

In the first week, we took a quick tour of some of the past community build projects to help conceptualize what we may be able to accomplish this semester in our own projects. To help with upkeep and also understand these structures more intimately, we developed a list of repairs, maintenance, and simple punch list items that we plan to knock out this week and this weekend. Most of the items on the list seem to involve a pressure washer, paint touch ups, and dealing with water run-off. All things to take into consideration in our upcoming designs, although it is hard to fault most of these maintenance issues to anything but normal wear and tear. From my point of view, the past projects we have seen are all beautiful, seem quite successful, and are well used and well loved–it will be a fun challenge to uphold this standard that has been set by the previous initiatives.

Our class at the Crop Stop on John’s Island, a Spring 2014 A+CB project, and the home base for AMOR Healing Kitchen, which is a nonprofit that provides healthy meals to those suffering from serious health issues. Check out their instagram page and their website.

At this point, I know what you might be thinking, so what is the project we will be undertaking this semester? Here’s the zinger. Truthfully, we’re not sure yet. (Insert shrugging emoji). We do know that our project(s) will be located along the West Ashley Greenway–that’s right, there might be more than one–and it will be up to us and the client to help decide what we want to address with built forms this semester. And, we are pleased to be working once again with the Charleston Parks Conservancy. But things move quickly in the Community Build studio, and so our project will be developing very soon, so stay tuned. Possibly by the end of next week, we will begin researching, looking at precedents, planning an (architectural) intervention, and starting conceptual design.

So here is the formal “we are back” and truly we are happy to be back! Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for our next update. Please check out the rest of our website, our past projects, and our instagram page.

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