Deployable Smocked Porch

Location
Winterset, Iowa
Year
2015
Size
90 SF

Client
The Iowa Preservation Alliance (pro bono)

Project Team
Leah Rudolphi
Kevin Wagner

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture
Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Deployable Smocked Porch

Conceived as a riff on the screen porch, this “parklet” was designed to be deployed in parking spaces throughout Iowa’s cities and towns. Designed and built by Substance Architecture, this structure utilizes modest means but high craft to create a welcoming space. The Deployable Smocked Porch aimed to blend the age-old concept of a porch space with contemporary, sustainable design sensibilities. The challenge lay in creating an intimate, adaptive space that was not only easily deployable but also affordable while working in harmony with the environment, making effective use of salvaged and sustainable materials a matter of paramount importance.

The result is an ingeniously simple yet evocative space, framed in reclaimed wood and adorned with smocked insect screening, serving as both shade and enclosure. The curtains open and close to control access while a roof aperture welcomes a measured shaft of daylight, mirroring a similar opening in the turf floor. Coupled with two porch swings, the porch accomplishes the objective of creating an adaptable inside-outside experience. Not only does this showcase an exceptional standard of design on a minimal budget, but the easily deployable structure also stands as a testament to what can be achieved through creative design solutions and sustainable practices. The structure was assembled adjacent to the courthouse square in Winterset, IA where it stood proudly for a summer as a pro bono effort in support of The Iowa Preservation Alliance.

This small, handmade space was conceived as a Deployable Smocked Porch. Deployable because it is small enough to be moved once it is made; Smocked, due to the embroidery technique utilized to pleat and sew the layers of screening together; and a Porch, referring to the archetypal space that is created—both inside and outside.

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Concept sketches

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Hand sewing the screen

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Screen detail

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Hand assembly

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Mockup in progress

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Hand sewing the screen

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Screen detail

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Construction progress

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Construction progress

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Construction progress

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Construction progress

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Axonometric diagram

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Screen assembly

Deployable Smocked Porch – Substance Architecture

Screen assembly

Awards

2020 Excellence in Design - Merit Award
American Institute of Architects - Central States Region
2019 Honorable Mention Award of Excellence in Craft
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter
2016 Best of Year - Budget
Interior Design
2016 Small Project Award
American Institute of Architects - National
2016 Design Award - Accessory Building/Outdoor
Custom Home/Builder

Publications

Winter 2020 Iowa Architect
Winter 2017 Iowa Architect
December 2016 Interior Design
September 2016 Builder

Photography by Paul Crosby Architectural Photography