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Horizontal Reclamation

Anyone who has spent any time in our office here at the Old Star Laundry Building on 35th Street knows this door:

…and anyone who has taken a closer look at it knows that it is an antique door that has been repurposed into a different sort of door… a rolling gate. This is a stellar example of the kind of adaptive reuse for which the Southern Pine Company is known: thinking beyond the confines of typical reclamation.

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Greening St. Andrews School

Under the shepherding of Mr. Andy Miller, Wilmington Island’s St. Andrews School has fairly recently begun to utilize an outdoor learning area, complete with a greenhouse, a compost heap, and several raised beds.

The herb section, pictured above, is flourishing; the flowering tops of the basil plants have been intentionally left intact, as they are attracting local pollinators to the area.

The Lower School children each have been given regular occasion to dig, plant seeds, transplant seedlings, and water the beds. The garden area also includes an outdoor seating arena where the pupils can sit and listen to their teacher present new material.

One of the best parts about this new venture is that St. Andrews has been able to build the outdoor classroom entirely with donated funds and materials–many of them reclaimed materials. The podium surface was fashioned out of a piece of driftwood found on a local beach, while old window sash was repurposed into transparent walls for the greenhouse.

The Southern Pine Company will be donating a number of antique claw-foot tubs (for use as planters or ponds), as well as some of our reclaimed Georgia Heart Pine. What better way to Re-Cycle than to encourage the next generation of gardeners to learn about planting seeds within repurposed antique vessels?

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From Morocco With Love

These amazing doors speak for themselves…

The plaque affixed to this green door reads, “Ministry of Defense.”

One word: WOW!

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Southern Pine Branches Out

While the Southern Pine Company has long been known for our stunning Antique Heart Pine Flooring, we have recently taken the opportunity to walk along a new path. The way we see it, if our reclaimed wood looks beautiful underfoot, why not showcase it as furniture as well?Fortunately for us, Southern Pine’s Master Craftsman, Mr. Dennis Clay, has abundant quantities of both vision and talent. He is currently fashioning the above table from reclaimed turned legs, skip-planed Heart Pine, and Savannah River-Recovered Cypress.

This Old-Growth Poplar board is destined to become a tabletop; the crack will be used to advantage, as it will add both character and authenticity to the finished piece.

Here, Mr. Clay, hard at work, has a number of new designs up his proverbial sleeve. Keep checking the blog for updates on Southern Pine’s new furniture line, and expect amazing pieces fashioned from 500+ year-old Reclaimed Chinese Elm…

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West Savannah Walkover Project

Big things are in the air over Martin Luther King Boulevard on the West Side of Savannah, namely the I-16 Flyover. The City of Savannah is planning to remove the Flyover, which is considered by some to be an eyesore and is seen by others as a line that divides the community.

The City is putting forward three conceptual plans, and the Southern Pine Company/RK Construction & Development is suggesting a fourth, which would serve as an enhancement of whichever of the three plans is chosen by the community.

Southern Pine/RK’s plan references the High Line Project in New York City, suggesting that the portion of the I-16 Flyover that crosses MLK be kept in place, and converted instead into a “Walkover.” As the next picture shows, this would provide greater (above-street) acreage for the GreenSpace that the City is already suggesting be implemented in the area that the Flyover currently occupies. It would become a destination in itself–thus drawing tourists to the area–and would highlight a section of Downtown Savannah that has been sorely neglected for some time.

The idea is that, as the mid-section of MLK becomes more regularly populated (due to the removal of the Flyover), there will be more foot/bicycle/wheelchair/stroller traffic needing to cross MLK, which is already a difficult street to traverse. This fourth option, which suggests leaving in place the “bridge” over MLK, will provide a safe option for those pedestrians looking to cross the street, as well as ADA-complaint elevators for those who need them.

Interested folks are encouraged to come to the public forum at the Con-Ed Building on MLK between 2pm and 7pm on Tuesday, 12 October 2010. There will be four stations, each presenting a different conceptual plan for the area where the I-16 Flyover currently stands. Community members will have a chance to learn more about the proposed changes and to air their opinions to the Planning Committee during this forum on October 12.

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Pullin' for Emergent Structures

On this past Saturday, a stalwart group of “stud strippers,” along with a number of nail pullin’ innocents, converged on Strathmore Estates in East Savannah to make usable the wood that was reclaimed as a result of the Strathmore Deconstruction Project (see earlier post).

Ben Bowne and Ms. Eva pause their work for a quick photo-op. Ben was the headlining entertainment for the event, but he was slingin’ reclaimed boards with the best of ‘em before settling down to share some acoustic tunes. Ms. Eva was surely in her element on Saturday, teaching the volunteers to pull nails–something she could do in her sleep.

Mr. Jayco was also on-site to provide valuable instruction to nail pullin’ newbies. Thank you, Sir!

If you missed the Nail Pullin’ Event this past Saturday, there’s no need for tears. Emergent Structures is no one-hit-wonder: there will be plenty more of these opportunities in the future. Check out the Emergent Structures website for more information, as well as for other interesting posts and thoughts from the ES Team.

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Plants Need Reclamation Too!

When contracted to remove a damaged structure, we always end up with a lot more than just building materials on our hands. One oft-forgotten byproduct of the deconstruction process is the amount of landscaping material that must also be removed from the site of a deconstructed building.

What sense would it make to reclaim the components of a structure but not the floral elements around it? Think about it: recycled plants and trees provide an additional layer of environmental viability to any landscape.

Southern Pine… Not just dead trees anymore!

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Adaptive Reuse in Action Again!

When a previous tenant left the remnants of an office structure within a portion of our Old Star Laundry plant, we chose to treat the space as we would any other reclaimed space: adapt, and re-use!

After determining that the space would be best utilized as a meeting room, we began to spruce it up–with salvage materials, vintage furniture, and our signature reclaimed wood.

…artwork and artifacts began gracing the space, and a fitting centerpiece presented itself…

The curtains and valance came directly out of the fire-damaged brick residence on the corner of 37th and Ott that we are currently deconstructing. The opposite wall of our new meeting space sports a stunning framed photograph (by our Resident Photographer, Chris Carr) of the curtain set in its original location in the blistered front parlor of that house.

Now, the space boasts a new shine, brought to the surface through careful use of reclaimed and salvaged materials. As can be seen, this adapted space is being used and re-used already: our adapted space has already facilitated meetings, with many more on the horizon.…a space created through adaptive reuse brings great energy to all sorts of discussions!

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…Even the Dog is Reclaimed!

One of the most recent projects that our space here on 35th and East Broad has been utilized for is the filming of a music video. A group of Savannah College of Art and Design film students–along with a band from Cincinnati, Ohio–have spent the past couple of weeks producing a music video for a SCAD Senior Project in our Architectural Room.

The Southern Pine Company’s mascot, Oz, took her turn on camera recently as well. After the film shoot, Oz decided to show off a bit; her balancing skills are second to none… even on a rickety reclaimed toilet that is nowhere near affixed to the floor!

After a quick turn on the toilet, Oz decided she would test the waters in a reclaimed claw-foot tub…

…no wonder she is always so clean!

And who knew that architectural antiques had so many uses? The entire set for this shoot was built from reclaimed materials.

Next time you need to shoot a music video, you know who to call!

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