Thinnings Bathhouse

Payne Lake AL / 2011 / 5th Year Project

Thinnings Bathhouse

Payne Lake AL / 2011 / 5th Year Project

“Thinnings,” or small-diameter timbers that are removed from a stand during sustainable foresting practice, have become a multi-year material research project for Rural Studio. The material, which has little commerical value outside of use as pulpwood, is abundant in Alabama.

The 2009-2010 student team designed restroom and toilet enclosures out of the thinning material to create a bathhouse facility in a Talladega National Forest campground. Both structure and cladding are made out of thinnings. Reflecting the low-impact ethic of the project, the restrooms incorporate composting toilets, while the shower and sink water are filtered through a system of constructed wetland beds. Each of the three toilets and two showers are located in their own lattice truss tower, with a view to a special element in the forest.

Currently, the project remains in the construction document phase, but we continue to work with the USDA Forest Service in hopes of seeing the project through.

Project Team

Michael Dowdy, Franklin Frost, Will McGarity, Mary Pruitt

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