Our school is an 8-day sprint to design and make a building together. Days are long, physically demanding, and filled with a mixture of technical workshops, construction, cooking, and lots of play in the woods. The school is designed to be the most compact, effective way to impart the techniques and know-how to build a building yourself. This year we will build a bathhouse.
is a 55-acre forest under preservation in Sullivan County, NY. Its primary feature is its namesake, a tributary to the Delaware River. The land is managed by a group of friends who mutually enjoy its splendor and use the place to learn new skills.
Ten people will be invited to join two of the experienced instructors hosting the program. Anyone is welcome to apply, but preference will be given to those with some maker experience. Tuition is $1500, which covers tool rentals for everyone, three square meals a day, snacks and beverages, lodging and our instructors’ time. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to/from Beaver Brook, which is an easy train ride from NYC.
Why was Beaver Brook School founded?
We're inspired by our heroes Christopher Alexander
and Samuel Mockbee
to create a design/build program to teach more people how to make their own spaces, just as some of us have and continue to do on the property. It's actually the primary reason we acquired the land, to practice these skills.
Why are we building a bathhouse?
A bathhouse shares many of the same elements as a house, therefore allows us to impart the techniques of housebuilding, but is much smaller, simpler to build, and doesn't require the same permits to construct. In other words, it's bite-sized and just the right step for beginner designers and builders.
What's the Bunkhouse?
The Bunkhouse is the hub of Beaver Brook, a barn-turned-lodge that was just finished in February 2013. It was designed to host large family and group events. During the cold months, most of the BB residents stay there. It's a great space. Participants will sleep and dine there. Brief backstory and pics here
What skills will I learn?
Before arriving, we will encourage you to learn a basic 3D CAD program. Once School is finished, you will know how to pour a foundation; frame a deck, wall and roof; install windows; hang a door; shingle a roof; fell a tree; manage a forest; and prepare a Trout you catch in a cast iron pan.