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UH architects construct pavilion from cubicles


“ReFRAME x FRAME” doubles as an art pavilion and a housing facility for those seeking refuge during natural disasters. Courtesy Photo/ The Daily Cougar

“ReFRAME x FRAME” doubles as an art pavilion and a housing facility for those seeking refuge during natural disasters.  |  Courtesy of the Graduate Design/Build Studio

In honor of Hermann Park’s 100th birthday, the Graduate Design/Build Studio has created a gift that keeps on giving by way of repurposed office furniture.

The UH team, led by professor Patrick Peters, designed and constructed a micro-pavilion out of discarded cubicles for the park’s centennial celebration set to take place in 2014.

“Carole Nicholson of Allsteel approached me to request that the Graduate Design/Build Studio take on the study of repurposing Allsteel cubicle frames for building systems,” Peters said. “A bit later, Graphic Communications Professor Cheryl Beckett and I were approached by Doreen Stoller, Executive Director of the Hermann Park Conservancy, and its art consultant Lea Weingarten, to request us to create a micro pavilion to celebrate the Park’s 100th Anniversary.

Upon hearing these requests, the team decided to conjoin the two into a single design opportunity, thus, creating the ReFRAME x FRAME micro-pavilion.

The project was a collaboration between UH faculty member Jason Logan, Peters, nine UH master of architecture students, and six master of fine arts graphic communications students guided by Beckett.

Design and documentation of the pavilion began in mid-March of 2013 and was worked on until the end of the semester. Following this, the architects were able to complete the project over the summer semester.

Through generous donations, the micro-pavilion was designed and built for a total budget of $6,600.

In addition to being the future site of art events, once installed, the use of this repurposed material is also a step toward aiding those in need in the event of a disaster.

“The micro pavilion is also a testing model for our proposal to repurpose used Allsteel Stride cubical frames for the structure of transitional housing in disaster relief settings,” Peters said. “The micro pavilion is the alpha model. Pending support from our corporate partners, we plan to produce the beta model next, a transitional house prototype. That will hopefully lead to providing disaster relief housing where it is needed.”

Currently the team is waiting to receive its building permit so the installment date remains undetermined, but the official public opening date is set of the end of this calendar year. However, Peters plans to have it available for viewing by mid-fall.

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