Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB

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Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Rural Studio alumni Marie and Keith Zawistowski led 17 students of the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design in the design and assembly of a farmers market shelter in Covington, Virginia.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB

All produce sold at the market is sourced from within 100 miles and the same principle was applied when selecting construction materials.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

The structures comprises a long canopy shaped like the wing of a plane.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

The faceted pine roof is covered with sheets of steel, while reclaimed oak and pine were used to fabricate the frame.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

An office, storage room and toilets are located beneath the canopy at the rear of the timber deck and are coated in blackboard paint.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

The pioneering undergraduate programme Rural Studio was co-founded by the late architect Samuel Mockbee, who is the subject of a 60-minute documentary released last year - see our earlier Dezeen Wire here.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Here's a more detailed description of the project from design/buildLAB:


Covington Farmers Market
134 W Main Street, Covington, VA 24426

Program Description

The design/buildLAB is a third year architecture studio at the Virginia Tech, School of Architecture + Design focused on the research, development and implementation of innovative construction methods and architectural designs. Students collaborate with local communities and experts to develop concepts and propose solutions to real world problems.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

The goal of this course is to teach students the skills necessary to confront the design and realization of architecture projects, with a consciousness for social and environmental issues. By removing the abstraction from the making of architecture, the course engages students’ initiative and encourages them to ask fundamental questions about the nature of practice and the role of the architect.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

By framing the opportunity for architecture students to make a difference in the life of a community, the hope is to show them the positive impact Architecture can make and inspire them to high professional ethics.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Program Funding

The project budget was $150,000 which was primarily funded by a $119,000 grant from the Alleghany Foundation.

In addition, substantial contributions were made in support of the project by local contractors and material suppliers, as well as national and international companies. These include material donations, in-kind contributions or substantial discounts on the purchase of products or materials. The students solicited donations, ordered materials, and managed the project budget.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Project Design

During the fall semester, the students spent a number of weeks studying existing Farmers Markets around Virginia – which they visited – and around the world – which they studied through publications, drawings and photographs. Using that information, a list of requirements given to them by the client and their own interviews of the Covington Farmers Market vendors, the students were able to establish guidelines and specific requirements for the project.

All 17 students first made individual design propositions for the project. From those, a master plan was determined then a design for the building. In this way, all of the students contributed ideas to the discussion. It was very important from a pedagogical perspective that not one “scheme” was chosen. Rather, they collaborated to develop the final design for the project.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

The project is conceived as 3 parts: Ground Plane, Occupied Space, and Pavilion Roof. All component parts are based on a 10’ wide module to facilitate prefabrication and transportation to the site. At the scale of the town, the building reads as a seamless gesture. At the scale of the occupant, the details express the modular construction. A locust deck serves as the market floor. It folds up to allow the nesting of an office, storage room and toilet room. It extends beyond the market and into a sloped earth park to provide a stage and seating. A sculptural roof and ceiling of reclaimed heart-pine and galvanized sheet steel floats over-head.

This market pavilion is the modern expression of timeless agrarian sensibilities.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Sustainability

Because all goods sold at this market are required to be produced within a 100 mile radius, this distance became a goal for the procurement of construction materials. Essential to this approach was the use of recycled building material in the construction, in particular the re-use of wood salvaged from an old barn in a neighboring town. Additional, new lumber, including locust decking and yellow pine cladding for the project were sourced from locally sawn timbers.

Digital fabrication played a substantial role in the sustainability of the project by maximizing structural efficiency and minimizing waste.

In terms of limiting water and energy use, the project incorporates a rain water collection system, LED lighting and natural ventilation. A 1200 gallon cistern collects water from the roof and is used for watering the park and flushing toilets. LED lighting ensures long bulb life and extremely low energy consumption. Further, the pavilion roof was designed with an inverted ceiling to facilitate stack effect ventilation and eliminate the need for mechanical cooling.

Finally, the asphalt surface from the site’s previous parking lot was milled and stored through construction to be repurposed as a new permeable, compacted, parking area.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Prefabrication

The students prefabricated the Market structure, including floor, conditioned buildings, and pavilion roof at VA Tech’s Environmental Systems Laboratory. A local contractor was hired to complete the foundations and utility connections. This allowed for two phases of construction, site work and framing, to happen simultaneously. In total, the students prefabricated and assembled the structure in less than four months. The efficiency of working in a controlled environment, with easy access to tools and equipment was essential in achieving the schedule of one academic year.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Project Recognition

The Covington Farmers Market was awarded a 2011 Design Excellence Award from the Virginia Society AIA.

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Design and Construction: design/buildLAB

Student Design Team: Anne Agan, Emily Angell, Zachary Britton, Chris Cromer, German Delgadillo, Chris Drudick, Cody Ellis, Jacob Geffert, Rachel Gresham, Shannon Hughes, Elizabeth Madden, Ryan McCloskey, Andrew McLaughlin, Brett Miller, Elizabeth Roop, Erin Sanchez, Sara Woolf

Professors: Marie Zawistowski, Architecte DPLG – Professor of Practice, Keith Zawistowski, Assoc. AIA, GC – Professor of Practice

Structural Engineer: Draper Aden and Associates - Dave Spriggs, PE

Covington Farmers Market by design/buildLAB at VA Tech School of Architecture + Design

Owner: City of Covington, 333 W Locust Street, Covington, VA 24426

Project Timeline: Design – Fall 2010, Construction – Spring 2011

Major Materials: Locally Sawn Locust Decking, Reclaimed Heart Pine Ceiling, Reclaimed Oak and Pine Framing, Flat-Lock Galvalume Metal Roofing, Traxon LED Lighting, Toto Plumbing Fixtures, VT Industries Doors, Assa Abloy Hardware, Marvin Windows

Project Budget: $150,000 ($119,000 grant was provided by the Alleghany Foundation)
Software: Rhino 3D (Educational Version), AutoCAD 2011 (Educational Version)

  • alex

    I like it. Solid, simple & creative… but I would like to see photographs of how it is inhabited, how the stalls are positioned and how people use the space.

  • http://lmnoq.com LMNOQ

    I wish more schools would take Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design's lead and introduce more contemporary architecture in rural parts of our country. Great work!

  • critic

    It is nice to see the Virginia AIA giving an award to the students and professors
    Great accolades to all
    Inviting ! Good design on a budget
    Also congratulations to the people of Covington, VA

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7003368 Patrick Lancaster

    sambo was not a student of the rural studio….he was the founder, along with d.k. ruth from auburn university

  • mackey

    so beautiful, and yet the gutter! getting rain off elegantly should have been a primary consideration since it's basically just a roof.

  • Chip

    I'm generally not impressed by gutters either but these appear very thoughtfully done. They follow the profile of the ceiling and disappear into the floor. They are honest!