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Architecture in State Parks, UT Gulf Coast DesignLab – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]

Architecture in State Parks, UT Gulf Coast DesignLab – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]

– What’s up?– NARRATOR: It is early summer,
and these University of Texas
students are preparing
for a trip.
– Is it open?
– I think so. – ANDRE: We’ve got 12 students,
and our professor.– NARRATOR: The group is
heading from Austin
to the coast…– We’re heading down to
Galveston Island State Park.– NARRATOR: …But not for
a break on the beach.
– ANDRE: Today we’re packing up
for the first site visit.– NARRATOR: These advanced
architecture students
are heading to Galveston
to design and build.
– Toodle-oo! – Bye!– NARRATOR: All anyone can
say for sure is that,
by the end of this summer,
a lot will be learned.
– COLEMAN: This is a
project we have to do in a very short time. Ten weeks from the first day
to the last day. It will be an interesting
summer for these students.– NARRATOR: If they are
successful, the end result
will be a finished structure
that the state park needs.
[upbeat music] [waves crashing] – Welcome to Galveston
Island State Park. Super excited
that you’re here. I’m a Park Interpreter. Essentially, I try to
connect people with the natural resources that we have. We are almost an island
within an island, surrounded on all sides
by development.– NARRATOR: Since
Hurricane Ike in 2008,
this park has operated with
limited infrastructure,
until a re-development
plan can be funded.
– As we get out here, you might
notice some algae on the ground, you see the little bubbles?– NARRATOR: One pressing need
is a pavilion for
educational programs…– So, it’s a nursery habitat
for all the fish that we like.– NARRATOR: …a structure to
provide some of the only shade
on the park’s bay side.– We have a lot of school
groups that come out here. I have a lot of hurdles to get
over in order to make them start to care about this place. To get them to some of
those higher thoughts and higher concepts, you have
to meet their basic needs. – COLEMAN: The students are
concentrating on working closely with their stakeholder,
the park rangers. – This is the proposed site,
with an emphasis of orientation towards
the water here. – COLEMAN: They’re going to
try to get an idea of what it is that they want, and
through that they’ll begin a design process. – PATRICK SCHOONOVER:
Hit that corner, Joey? – COLEMAN: They’ll be camping
very close to where they’re going to build. It gets them immersed in the
climate they’re going to be working within. [waves rolling] The mission of the DesignLab is to try to increase
ecological literacy, particularly of the
coastal environment. [dramatic music] – REBECCA KENNEDY: How many
renders are there going to be? Four? – ANDRE: Yeah.
– Okay. – HUGO: That’s much better. It’s been like Santa’s
little workshop in here. [playful music] – COLEMAN: What are you
working on? – A lot of cardboard,
a lot of Elmer’s glue. We spend a lot of time
at Hobby Lobby. Sweet. We’re getting a
Master’s in Architecture but we’re getting a
Ph.D. in craft supplies. – We had a pretty
long design process. Obviously, designing something
with a group of 11 people, it’s hard to come to a
consensus about things. – We floundered for about a
week there to try to really find something we could all
get behind, um, but that’s great, because that’s
how real-world practice is and it also ensures that we have
a really good, strong idea. Given that it’s a shade
pavilion, we can test if it really does provide shade. I can hit ‘apply’ and then we
can see that at 10 AM, we’re getting dappled light
through the structure. [playful music] – COLEMAN: These early models
are design studies that they were doing individually. They’re all meaningful in
that they lead to something. That one design that they’re
actually now going to present. – It was a little bit
Frankenstein-y for a little while, but we’ve
got something good here. I think it’s, uh,
definitely come together as a collective idea. – You know, everything that
we’re doing now, we’re trying to minimize
long-term maintenance. Things really get beaten up. – COLEMAN: We have milestones
that we have to hit. And the big milestone of the
first half of the semester was getting the design and
presenting that to the folks at the park. – That’s the shoreline
we’re counting. – I like your orientation. I think it’s very good. So, your prevailing breeze
is coming from the water. – The next milestone then
is develop drawings and to get the technical
folks with the Parks Division to approve that. – When you walk around the
corner and it all kind of opens up in front of you. I just think that’s
a great idea. – COLEMAN: We will have about
two and a half to three weeks to actually put this
thing together, so it’s very fast-track. – HUGO: Fabricating components. [buzzing] – We’ve been getting a
lot of welding practice and sweating a lot. [laughs] [saw revs] – There’s a team working
solely on wood, a team working on mostly steel, so that allows us to work
really quickly. – Theoretically, we’re supposed
to start this uh, this Friday, making shade. – ANDRE: We had a few setbacks. We had our professor take a
little spill earlier, but he’s getting sutured up, so I think he’ll be good
in a couple of days. – REBECCA: I just hope
he’s alright. – Cut going this way. We’re figuring out how
to load a lot of wood without a leader right now. We’ve probably got three
or four tons of wood. Not a cool day. I don’t know what it is, 100? 103? Ugh. – You got it? – REBECCA: Phew. Ay yay yay. Well, alright. We’re kind of in limbo of
like when we’re actually going to have the clearance
to begin building. – BROOK: One, two, three. [sighs] – ANDRE: We just have to go
and check all the boxes, make sure everything
is good to go. [door rolling shut] [wind] – HUGO: Found a way to
get through all the procedural hurdles,
and we’re moving forward. – COLEMAN: You know, it was
right down to the wire. On the day we started
construction is the day we got our approval. So, all’s well that ends
well is what I say. – HUGO: We lost a day on the
front end, but for the most part we are on track. [upbeat music] A lot of dirt has been dug. – SEAN: Getting there. – HUGO: It was extremely hot
the first couple of days, I think it was record highs, but the human body
is pretty resilient. – Woo! – HUGO: We’ve been doing great. Great attitudes all around. – In that direction, yeah. What’s your suggestion? – HUGO: Our fearless leader
is back on site. We couldn’t be happier
to have him. – I had a few stitches in my
face which set me back a few days, but the truth is,
this is such a good group, they’re totally independent. [dramatic music] – HUGO: You have to,
essentially, in space, make a perfect square, and
determine perfect placements, which is surprisingly
challenging to get it right. You know, especially if
you don’t do it every day. Measure 20 times, build once,
is kind of what we’re going for. – REBECCA: I think we all were
really excited today when all the rocks
went into the wall. We were all like,
“Wow, it actually does what we want it to do,”
which is pretty exciting. – HUGO: That’s why the studio
is so fantastic, because it bridges that gap
between paper and real life. Are we doing okay? – I think you’re doing great. – Alright! – SEAN: Not to jinx anything,
but it’s been going really well. – What’s your time on those,
I’m just curious? One? Okay. – We’ve had some sequencing
things where we’ve had to kind of stop
and pause and make sure we’re not stepping on our
own toes as we go, but I would say it’s been
surprisingly smooth. – This is our second
to last cut. [saw revs] We’ve been getting a lot done
despite the odds, and, knock on wood,
nothing else comes up. [thunder clap] – SEAN: The weather has been
our biggest hang up I think. – HUGO: Here comes the rain. Let’s uh, let’s get
some stuff put away. [rainfall and thunder] – COLEMAN: Working in August,
it’s both a gift and a curse. We’ve probably lost a few
hours to summer rains, but you build that
into the schedule, knowing that’s going to
happen this time of year. [thunder] We have had nothing but a
great relationship with Texas Parks and Wildlife,
and this is our fifth project. We’ve done three projects at
Goose Island State Park, down in the Rockport area. The fire circle for the youth
nature interpreter there. A birding platform, where the
nature interpreter, again, uses that for her bay walks. We’ve done a project at Sea Rim
which is up at Port Arthur. It’s a camping platform
that’s out in the wetlands that the only way you get
to it is kayaking. People can rent
for the weekend. It’s also used by biologists,
bird counters, to keep tabs on the health of that
particular wetland. So all of these projects have
something to do with the ocean environment,
bay environment, where the public comes
and learns something about the local ecology. [rocks banging] – ANDRE: Here we are, it’s
like 95, 100% humidity and we got the chain gang
out here with rocks. – They’re just masochists. They just wanted to do it. [energetic music] – I’d rather be moving rocks
than lifting louvers. – ANDRE: Yeah, those are
probably 80 to 100 pounds, depending on how
soaking wet they are. – HUGO: Oh yeah. Oh yeah! [grunts] It’s almost there. It’s been a very
laborious undertaking, but we are on the tail end now. Just the finishing touches-
the fun part really. [rocks clanging] [water pouring] [drinking] – And repeat. [energetic music] – It’s tough to work in
these conditions for 12 hours a day. When you can see the finish
line, it’s a lot easier. – HUGO: We’re going
to finish, guys. I can’t even describe the
level of happiness that makes me feel. – When they put up the
first six louvers, we were like, “Oh my God! “We’re standing on the deck
and it’s shaded! We did this!” – HUGO: One, two, three. Teamwork makes the dream work. Alright, let’s drill it. [energetic music] – JOEY: We had some rough days
in the beginning. – We really were questioning
whether we would even be here right now. – It was pretty tough. I’m really happy about
the result though. – Because we’re kind of
wrapping it up, we’re finally seeing what
we’ve made come to life. I wish we could see the
first group that’s going to experience it. – HUGO: I’m pretty happy. I’ll come back sometime, but I’ll be happy to
drive over the bridge, headed back to Austin. – I will not feel guilty if I
lay in bed all day tomorrow. [drill hammers] – Last one! Amazing experience. – Nice work. [laughs] [broom scraping] – SEAN: We’re excited to be
wrapping up today, for sure. [uplifting music] – ANDRE How about this
group shot? – SEAN: I hope they’re as
satisfied with it as we are. – Y’all ready? – SEAN: For us, it’s a
win at least. – One, two, three. [shutter] [laughs] – Digging the shade. Above and beyond. I love this crew. This is amazing! So, lessons learned? – COLEMAN: Do this in November. [laughs] – This place I think is
going to be highly used, and, of course, I think
the shade is going to be really appreciated
in the future. Please consider this a
personal invitation to come back and see how
this place lives. – There isn’t like a ribbon
cutting ceremony or anything. – LISA: High five. Yes. Good game, good game. – SEAN: There will be some
mild celebration and then some careful
driving home, because I think we’ll
all be very tired. – LISA: Good game, yeah,
America. [uplifting music] [wind and uplifting music] [uplifting music]

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