Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ivy League Frame

After the horse barn raising, we began cutting an outdoor pavilion for Yale University in New Haven. Different than Brendan's usual clients, there was certainly more bureacracy and politics involved in the process of making all the design decisions and planning. The ultimate design was a really interesting frame to cut though. Six big white oak posts hold up two bents (38' long and 20' apart) that hold three massive trusses that support the broadly overhanging (30'x39') flat roof. The whole project was in cooperation with the Yale Sustainible Food Project which is an interesting effort at supplying some of the food on campus themselves and educating folks about sustainable farming. There is an article here that describes the raising day from the students' perspective, though it fails to mention all the actual hours the 4 guys who actually cut the frame in 3 weeks put in. Oh, well. The guys in yellow shirts and one bearded guy in green next to them in the last picture on that page did all the work, trust me. Everyone is always amazed that a building goes up in 'gasp' one day! Its sort of seems that way, and its fun, but the truth is a couple people have handled every one of those timbers a million times, moving them around, flipping them endlessly on bunks, laying it all out, cutting every joint and then stacking them back up to be delivered to the site. Not to mention the one guy (Brendan) that planned the whole thing and dealt with Yale administrators for 2 years and redesigned the drawings they sent and figured out how to make it all work and chewed at all that timber until it fit absolutely perfectly together. An enlightening experience working with a big institutional client compared to a homeowner. 

The site had a brick pizza oven that ended up under the pavilion.                    

Bringing the heavy-ass (some were ~650 lbs. each) top and bottom chords to the site:

Prep work that set up the raising two days before; prefitting all the posts, cutting them and drilling the bolt holes where they attached to the foundation metal brackets-

Looking from the site down into the gardens; there were a couple sorts of hot pepper plants that we had a great time experimenting with-

The finished frame-

High angle (housed) struts that run from the post to the upper chord of the truss:

The pavilion looking up from the gardens-

Cedar trellis joined to rafter pairs and splined into upper chords: 

Looking out from under the central truss:

A very cool juncture in my opinion, the center of the structure where the summer beams meet the middle truss: 

Another highlight I thought, was the group of angles meeting at each post, the steep angles of the truss bracing and the outer struts next to the normal braces running to the plate: