Clark County, Indiana
Unbuilt to date
Client/Owner: Lori Beck, OVCE Cooperative
Douglas Pierson as partner with (fer) studio
Structural Engineer: Adam Greco, PE
MEP: Shamim Engineering
Contractor: City Constructors
Renderings: Chris Faulhammer
The client is Ohio Valley Creative Energy (OVCE), a grassroots nonprofit whose mission is to engage the community with the fire arts (ceramics, metals, and glass) through the use of landfill methane.
Fire arts tend to require huge amounts of energy to operate, the cost of which makes fire arts difficult for most people to pursue. So the OVCE wants an efficient, innovative, and thoroughly “green” fire arts studio complex near the Clark-Floyd Landfill in Southern Indiana where the nonprofit can provide low cost studio rental and often free access to fire arts.
We also envision it as a destination for anyone interested in the interrelated nature of green engineering and sustainable architecture and construction.
The project involves master planning the entire 10-acre site complex and designing all the buildings, including artists’ studios, and repurpose a 100-year-old farmhouse. To create a cohesive plan that meet all of the client’s requirements, we decided to design the site and structures to emphasize the path of energy from landfill to kilns and foundry.
The long complex is anchored by a source pipe of excess methane at the beginning and an energy “silo” at the end. The silo capture excess heat from the methane and use the extra energy to heat cooler areas.
A key element in the design is an elevated pipeline mounted to a large rammed-earth wall partially made of artists’ recycled materials. The pipeline establishes a visual path – a natural wayfinding guide – that will orient resident artists and visitors. An existing farm pond will be used to cool and recycle wastewater.
Programmatically, the OVCE Complex will include:
• Artists’ Studios
• A Gallery
• Primary and Secondary Events Spaces
• Educational Spaces
• Administrative Offices
• A park/green space, signage structures, and ample parking.
To learn about designing and maintaining a “green” artist’s studio, read Doug Pierson’s blog post “Environmental Stewardship Begins In Your Studio.”