The Mud Hut Rebirth project builds upon the prodigious earthen building legacy of KU professor W.C. McNown, the original force responsible for the creation of the rammed earth block Mud Hut building. Over time and many use changes, the building was in need of new breath. Responding to the Mud Hut’s lack of architectural identity and its cramped and dimly lit nondescript lobby space, the studio designed and built a new lobby anchored by an exposed rammed earth wall. Five strategically placed iron-stabilized ferrimagnetic rammed earth bands were designed to allow the wall to serve as an informal magnetic presentation display surface. This aesthetically pleasing and multi-functioning rammed earth wall now serves as the first of several earthen interventions planned for the Mud Hut rebirth project. It explicitly reveals what the original building so well disguised – its earthen heritage. A reclaimed timber-clad wrapper demarcates the new digital fabrication facilities housed in the building’s east wing. Subtle surface undulations in the timber wrapper at once express the capacity of the digital fabrication tools within while acknowledging the “impact force” of the earthen wall at the Mud Hut’s heart.
Client: University of Kansas
Tutors: Chad Kraus
Students: Rabia Baja, Sean Brungardt, Blaze Capper, Thomas Carmona, Maria Comerford, John Coughlin, Abigail Davis, Shelby Hartman, Chloe Hosid, Fatima Moufarrige Pacheco, Abigail Noelke, Theresa Signorino, Nicholas Weber, Yuejia Yang, and Zach Zielke
Research Question: The studio continued its earthen material research, with a focus on ferrimagnetic rammed earth, and also explore the role of CNC fabrication in the timber wrapper
Links: Dirts Works Studio