Heartwood: Pre-design towards the conscientious preservation, renovation, or re-use of the Hall log house.

Open Access
Duriez, Chauntel Lillian
Graduate Program:
Master of Architecture
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 22, 2016
Committee Members:
  • James Theodore Kalsbeek, Thesis Advisor
  • Marcus Steven Shaffer, Thesis Advisor
  • Richard Woodrow Pencek, Thesis Advisor
  • log construction
  • material investigation
  • logs
  • log house
Log structures across the country embody a unique craft and individuality that few architecture typologies can capture. The construction process, history and charm of log houses is interesting to many and specifically to architects who see design potential in material investigation. Personally historic preservation, materiality and design have always been of special interest to me. Questions pertaining to the importance of care, craft and innate individuality will be addressed in this thesis. I was approached as an architecture design student by a “client,” Dee Vogelsong, an emotionally invested patron of historic preservation and specifically of local history. She is in possession of a log house at risk. The structure is designated “at risk” because of multiple conditions which threaten its integrity of its form and future. These conditions include but are not limited to water damage, partial roof failure, foundation strain and site unsuitability. This thesis plans to document and analyze the existing conditions, in order to then address the need for informed design intervention for the Hall Log House. A full investigation and documentation campaign will record the Hall House in its current context. The collected data will be analyzed to give a full report of the existing condition of the house as well as interpret information for eventual application. The topic of judgment as a form of assessment will be interlaced and discussed. Additionally, this project explores what it means to quantify and document the historic and sentimental value specific to log houses. Design informed by materiality will be applied to explore design scenarios on the full spectrum of historic preservation, renovation and re-use. This thesis explores pre-design as part of the greater context of a larger project plan for the Hall House concerned with transforming a log house “carcass” at risk of elimination to a re-envisioned tribute to the material and history that it embodies.