About two weeks ago I moved to Newport, Pennsylvania for a sustainable building internship with Livingstructure (www.livingstructure.org) It’s an exciting opportunity for me to develop practical building skills, something that is not emphasized in the acedemic world. I am not undermining the importance of theory and graphics, but direct experience will only enhance design understanding. This summer, our main focus is building a house for an organic farmer who lost his home in a fire last year (right now he resides between his yurt and his car). Currently, I am helping finish up smaller projects, transporting materials, and learning Revit. Once Miles arrives, another intern, we will start with clearing the site and the fixing the existing foundation.
Livingstructure channels Christopher Alexander’s philosophy (author of A Pattern Language) through project design and management, as well as building services. They blend traditional and contemporary methods in order to achieve sustainable results on a range of scales. Their structures are composed of a high percentage of recycled and re-purposed content with natural and locally sourced materials. The building is a living structure in which people thrive and dwell, embracing the spirit of life and connecting to the environment. Here are a few of their projects that I have been able to visit since I have been here. This is a taste of what is to come.
House on the Hill: This house is owned by a fisherman who spends his summers on a boat and the rest of the year here. There are gorgeous views from all angles and an upside down floorplan, meaning that the living area is upstairs and the bedroom downstairs. By doing this the views are captured during the most important parts of the day.
Property: Newport, PA is a small town filled with farms. The property (where we live) is snuggled in the woods, which I enjoy very much. The structures on the property were, no surprise, built by Livingstructure. Check them out!