Project Gallery Extra: Magnolia Pavilion
Behind-the-scenes look at the design and construction of this impressive timber-frame pool house
Browse the photos above for a behind-the-scenes look at the design and construction of this impressive timber-frame pool house. The refined details would not have been possible without a cooperative effort by the designers, builders, and homeowners.
Read more about the Magnolia Pavilion in the September 2013 Fine Homebuilding Project Gallery.
Designed by Tony F. Miller of Miller Architecture, construction of the Magnolia pavilion called for the collaborative talents of many people.
Miller's firm and the timber framing firm, Carolina Timberworks, both created their renderings in SketchUp.
The two firms traded their SketchUp files back and forth during the early stages of design.
Construction of the pavilion.
With the design stage complete, Carolina Timberworks began the timber framing in their shop.
Workers in Carolina Timberworks' shop spent 848 man hours to create the timber framing for the pavilion.
When complete, the timbers were labeled and trucked to the site where it took Carolina Timberworks' four-man crew 314 hours to raise the structure.
A sophisticated piping system under the bluestone pavers is used to cool the pavers. This system is also used to heat the pool water when necessary.
Slate tile for the conical rotundas installed by Walker Brown Roofing of Carrboro, NC were cut wider at the bottom and incrementally narrower as the radii of the work decreased.
Due to the height of the metal railings on the two-story water slide, copper finials on the pavilion, and an elevated water spout, special detailing and specifications were incorporated in the design to provide for lightening protection.
A larger than usual firebox with a shallow Rumford-style backing was designed to project heat outward. They heighten the chimney and shaped the damper and flue structure for a good draw under normal weather conditions. Under unusual conditions the flues are designed for a mechanical fan assist when necessary.
This elegant pavilion and pool provide a welcoming location for relaxing stay-cations and the perfect spot for entertaining family and friends.
While I cannot disregard the fact that there is some real fine craftsmanship contained within the design and construction of this project, I cannot help but to be somewhat offended by the audacity of the wealth on display.
In fact, lately it seems that whenever I pick up a copy of FHB I am gobsmacked by the blatant spending by the upper-upperclass. Even when I try to rationalize whether I am more offended or jealous, I seem to come up with the same conclusion that there is no real necessity for such exuberance in a well crafted home beyond simply having way too much money to spend on one's self.
Then there are concepts like "The refined details would not have been possible without a cooperative effort by the designers, builders, and homeowners." And what did the homeowners do besides provide a 'money is no object' precedence to the project? I often laugh when FHB prints the homeowners contributions to a project of such scale. Sometimes articles will even be written as though the homeowners had to make severe sacrifices to stay within 'budget'. What is really being sacrificed on a home that finishes out at $300+ per sq.ft.?
Maybe I'm off base here. Maybe I should take better note when you say, "This elegant pavilion and pool provide a welcoming location for relaxing stay-cations and the perfect spot for entertaining family and friends." and realize that this homeowner sank every nickel and dime he saved up over a tough lived life into this pavilion project. So much of his savings that he actually imagines a "Stay-cation" to be the only vacation he will ever be able to afford from here on. Maybe the owner is truly a humble individual who only gets by on his hard work and high moral values. I suppose it is true that not having the knowledge of the particulars of this individual I shouldn't be making such brash conclusions.
What I certainly do have the credentials to opine on is that as a veteran carpenter, home designer, and longtime customer of FineHomebuilding magazine, I would much rather that in the future the publishers of FHB put a better focus on the 'less-than-opulent' features of 'fine homebuilding' and much less of a focus on the egomaniacal castle building of the uber-wealthy. I mean, we should all know that great craftsmanship can be had for massive amounts of money but real newsworthy publishing is how such detailed expressions of architecture can be within reach of the median income homeowner. Right?
I too have great disdain for the ones with nauseating wealth, but we do not know the background of this homeowner, he may have worked his way up from the ground floor or invented something that was truly an aid to mankind. Nevertheless, this magazine is about "Fine Homebuilding". The display of architectural ideas coupled along with phenomenal craftsmanship. While this may not be within reach economically for most of us, I still enjoy seeing these projects. I am able to incorporate some of the ideas in my own home, all built by me. If the magazine were to focus on simple house ideas and construction it would have to change its name to "Simple Homebuilding". The socioeconomic ineqauality we face in this world will have to be addressed somewhere else.
A conservatively sized home doesn't need to be unsophisticated. Much to the contrary, it would be great to see more, if not all homes designed to the standard of modest size but exceptional detail. Just look at the works of Taunton's own Sarah Susanka and her books that portray the well adorned but "Not So Big" home.
From the Palace of Versalles to Biltmore Estate it seems for centuries, we 'common folk' have gawked at the castles of the super rich and become entranced by the splendor of audacity on display. Possibly so much that we often forget the treachery it takes for those tyrants of government and industry to afford a home of that size. I really cannot imagine that anyone could possibly afford such a lavish home without oppressing at least a few people along the way. Although I really wish to be proven wrong (Buffett?).
To me it comes down to a couple of questions... Should everyone live in a "Fine Home"? Yes, I do believe everyone should strive to have a finely crafted home to live in. Then what would happen if everyone lived in a "Fine Home" as depicted in this article and so often in the pages of FHB magazine? I certainly don't publish my own home construction magazine but if I did, I would try to lead by example and choose to feature homes that express detailed living on the level of the common reader.
As a designer and builder of homes, I am far more impressed by 'simple details' or 'cost-effective craftsmanship' than castle-esque constructions. I think that given carte-blanche, any fool could design a building that shows off the craftsmanship of artisans, the elegance of material, and the immensity of space but it takes a skilled designer to provide quality and detail on a truly restrained budget.