The Hammons School of Architecture is a 5‐year Master of Architecture program set in the Liberal Arts of Drury University. The core curriculum is focused on engaged learning and encourages learning through community service. The School of Architecture has a Design-Build Program that takes a Whole-School approach and welcomes students from all majors to participate from conceptual design to construction.
Professor Traci Sooter has led the Design-Build efforts for Drury University since the fall of 2000. Professor Nancy Chikaraishi along with many professors from a variety of disciplines have joined the design-build team and enriched the projects. To date seventeen projects for charities or communities in need have been completed including the first LEED Platinum home for Habitat for Humanity International, four projects for the ABC television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and a competition home in the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.
Most recent Design-Build projects are the Volunteer Tribute, Butterfly Garden & Overlook and our US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition home, ShelteR³: Respond, Recover, Resist
In an effort to rebuild Joplin, MO after the devastating EF5 tornado in 2011, Drury Design-Build created the Volunteer Tribute in Cunningham Park as part of the “Seven Houses in Seven Days” episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The team consisted of five Professors along with 35, third year architecture students, over 370 Drury volunteers from across campus and the first Drury SmartMob! of 120 students, staff and faculty.
The 26,000 sq.ft. Butterfly Garden & Overlook, an Open Space, Sacred Place healing garden, conceptually pencils in at full scale three homes erased by the storm. The space includes a large, 38 segment water wall representing the minutes the storm was on the ground. At minute seven, when the storm hit the hospital and the park, a void appears. This void becomes a broken water feature in a sacred space along the path and a healed water feature in a second sacred space, both inscribed with quotes from survivors. Many other symbolic features help survivors move forward, but
After witnessing the devastation in Joplin, the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon team chose to design a home that would resist the wind loads and impact of projectiles during a tornadic event. ShelteR³ is designed to ship out post disaster as a response command center or relief housing, expand into permanent housing as the community recovers and resist the next storm.
The architecture studio focused on one project, the design and construction of a 400 sq. ft. Micro (Tiny) house for a new 31 unit community for the chronically disabled homeless in Springfield, Missouri, Eden Village.
Our resident: “MJ”, a 22-year-old young man, who happens to be deaf and had been living on the streets for five years. Students conducted client interviews with MJ and were expected to take an ethical approach to creating a dignified, permanent housing model for the community and specifically for MJ.
The semester was divided into three distinct phases: Eight weeks for client interviews with directors of the community and MJ, research, conceptual and design development; Three weeks for construction documents; Five weeks for construction.
Students completed thorough research, coupled with client interviews to guide them to a thoughtful, innovative, well-conceived concept that informed and guided the design process. The design began with hand-drawn sketches and transitioned to digital tools such as Sketchup, PhotoShop, Revit and Lumion.
This project was sponsored by Jordan Valley Community Health Center.
The site is a revitalized mobile home park. The micro house must be under 400 sq. ft. and meet RV code requirements.
Tornado Resistance: Research and implementation of innovative materials and methods that make this home, located in the tornadic mid-west, tornado resistant.
Resident Consideration: As our resident client is deaf, research and implementation of architectural solutions that can support and improve the life of a deaf person.
Aging in Place: It is most likely that the residents will live their lives out in this community, a goal was to show the client how to plan and design for aging in place.
As in the profession, construction professionals were responsible for the construction of the home. Students were expected to work side by side with professionals to gain a deeper understanding of materials and methods, tools and the construction process. Students communicated with and collaboratively problem-solved with professionals as issues arose.
Students explored future roles they may want to pursue in a firm as they chose leadership roles in the design and/or construction phases.
Bedroom, kitchen, accessible bathroom and a multi-functional living space featuring a “library”, gaming hub and reading nook.
The visual-centric design derives from MJ’s need to visually control his space. Exterior openings in all directions and a spatial arrangement that eliminates blind corners allows visual control of
the house. Blue hues throughout the house, MJ’s favorite color, provide contrast for hands while using sign language. Other amenities include a custom game/dining table, an abstraction of Starry Night—MJ’s favorite painting—routered into closet doors, and bicycle storage.
MJ’s Home seeks to promote resiliency and community within its design. The house is designed to be resistant to tornadic wind loads and debris impact. The wall system meets FEMA specifications for a wood storm shelter, achieving tornado resistance and affordability. The doors and windows are impact rated.
Promoting community are the wrap-around stairs and front porch that engage the community “street.”
Motivated to save lives by the EF5 tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri in 2011, the Drury University and Crowder College Solar Decathlon team developed ShelteR³: Respond, Recover, Resist. Designed to serve immediately after a natural disaster as an environmentally conscious disaster-response command center or disaster-relief housing, to expand and become permanent housing as the community begins to recover, and to resist the wind loads and debris-cloud projectiles of future tornadic storms.
How does a community rebuild itself after unmitigated devastation? How does it find solace? Restore hope? See how Joplin—a city ravaged by an EF5 tornado, the worst in over a century—transformed itself through nature. This is the Nature Effect—see it in action.
At the request of the Joplin Parks Director, Chris Cotten, and through the support of a TKF Foundation grant, Drury University students designed and built a garden space that focuses on the healing of the Joplin tornado survivors. The primary participants were the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department in a supervisor, builder, and stewardship role, Cornell University and USDA Forest Service as researchers, and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri who coordinated tax credits. Drury University was the design-builder working with a trans-disciplinary team: conceptual design input from a Drury Music Therapy professor; survivor story collection conducted by English Department students; website design to house survivor stories done by a Communications Department student; and post-construction individual and community resilience research conducted by a Psychology Department professor and students.
The design of the Butterfly Garden & Overlook weaves together the conceptual ideas derived from Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning (Worden 1991). Worden recognizes the process as accepting loss, managing the pain of grief, adjusting to the new environment, and making an enduring connection with the deceased. Four tasks to help individuals move into the next phase of life are represented as architectural and natural elements throughout the gardens. The first task, accepting the reality of the loss, begins as visitors pass through the portal of the lost home, the front door.
The path takes you on a journey around the site, allowing for processing the pain of grief, task 2. Areas with a bench and journal act as a destination and provide a sacred space in nature to adjust to a world without the deceased (or what was lost), task 3. Visitors are encouraged to write and reflect in the journals.
The “penciled” outline of homes represent all homes erased by the storm and plaques educate future generations on the destruction, acts of heroism, survival and the Miracle of the Human Spirit while providing an enduring connection to the deceased (or what was lost), We move on but do not forget, task 4. Butterfly attracting flowers create the unifying circle of the butterfly garden providing an encompassing sense of boundary, safety and enclosure.
The 38 segments of the transitioning water wall represent the minutes the tornado was on the ground. At minute seven, when the storm hit Cunningham Park and the hospital, there is a void. The void becomes water features in two sacred spaces, one broken by the path of the storm and another scarred but whole again.
The butterfly pavilion acknowledges stories told by children that butterflies helped them during the storm and the student-designed bench reflects the transitional nature of healing. Stainless steel pedestals tell stories of survival, heroism, recovery, memorials, statistics, butterfly people and design of the garden.
Students collected, transcribed, and archived survivor stories, which inspired design students prior to the build and were eventually quoted on the storyboards, on water features and permanently housed on a student-designed Stories of Joplin website.
Students and professors developed the conceptual design of the Butterfly Garden & Overlook and Design-Built 6 of the elements in the garden through the Design-Build Program in the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University in collaboration with the Joplin Parks and Recreation department led by Chris Cotten. The design was collaborative from beginning to end and through construction, including many community members, some of which were survivors of the tornado.
Student Design-Build elements:
Joplin Parks & Recreation department built all of the infrastructure of project and gave their heart and soul to making it happen and continue to maintain and care for the project today. Great River and Associates did the design development through construction documents including designing symbology behind the plants and flowers.
The student design elements were developed and prefabricated through an architecture studio course at Drury University. Students worked with JPR during a 10 day “Blitz Build” on site to install the 6 elements. A SmartMob! (A flash mob with a purpose) of 60+ students, staff and faculty converged on the site to install the walls of the garden among other things. Music Therapy Students from Drury University created a Rejuvenation Station by playing music to motivate, uplift and rejuvenate those constructing. Volunteers from the community worked throughout the week.
The plants were installed by volunteers from the community led by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Joplin Master Gardeners Club.
Joplin Parks & Recreation team
Student Design-Build team
20+ Music Therapy Rejuvenation Station Students
Music Therapy Associate Professor
Year Completed: 2011
Eggstreme Chicken Coop
Fair Grove, MO
Year Completed: 2009