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This Old Hut

NC State architecture students made a special trip to three Wake County recycling centers last week to drop off their summer recycling: stylish custom-designed huts made of reclaimed materials. The elegant, modern structures will replace the dilapidated shacks – officially called offices – now in use by county employees.

Students designed and built the huts in a small enclosure behind Brooks Hall as part of a 10-week summer project funded by a grant from the provost’s office. They worked in teams of five to create the designs, secure the necessary permits from the county and then build the structures from the ground up. Much of the raw material for the huts was donated.

“It’s very easy to go all the way through architecture school and never actually design an entire building,” said Robin Abrams, head of the School of Architecture, after touring the construction site last week. “This has been a huge challenge for the students, but their confidence has really grown.”

Adjunct professor Randy Lanou spearheaded the project with the support of his design firm, BuildSense of Durham.

Architecture students built the huts from scratch in 10 weeks.

“It was fun learning how to do these things that we have studied in studio,” said Kyler Mcclure, a senior majoring in environmental design in architecture. “We’ve design them but it’s nice to see how everything comes together.”

Abrams noted that the students’ enthusiasm never flagged, even in 105-degree heat.

“This is very much in the spirit of what this generation of students is interested in,” she said. “Which is putting all of their time and effort and energy into things that are good for society.”

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  1. This is a great educational experience, which I wish all students could somehow experience before being awarded a degree. For me, I worked in Weaver Labs for 3 years on a part-time basis, and I cannot tell you how much a head start this gave me when I graduated and went to the “real” world. Good luck to all the participants and I hope we can find more ways to get all students hands on experiences.