faculty create field opportunities
work on basement, Habitat house, robot challenge course
Gutierrez, Geoffrey Adams and Al Becente prepare a foundation
to pump cement into a form against the house. Photos
by Carolyn Gonzales.
Gutierrez and Geoff Adams from the UNM School of Architecture
and Planning recently involved two students in a little homework
on an Albuquerque-area structure.
to build a basement against the foundation at the back of the
house. The original plan was to build the basement in
block, but we decided to build one wall out of concrete,
said Gutierrez, associate dean.
called Adams, an assistant professor, to assist because of his
expertise in designing and building forms used to create concrete
Bandurski shovels cement while creating a planter.
though theyre temporary the forms go away after
the concrete sets I enjoy building them, said Adams,
pointing out that this project had its challenges because it
was being created against an existing wall. He added, I
was glad to have the chance to get and work with my hands.
Al Becente and Vehlen Bandurski, brought decidedly different
experiences to the project. Becente, one of Adams students,
is a fourth year architecture student with years of construction
work under his belt.
was getting too old to be working so hard physically. I decided
to go into architecture because of the work Id done,
said Becente, who, as a construction worker, labored in welding,
framing, drywall and sign construction.
from Sanders, Ariz., Becente is working on his own house and
said that his education has given him a different perspective
on construction. Its helped me set my standards
higher. I have a different sense of perspective, design and
materials. I also understand sustainability, he said.
of the project, Becente held the pipe through which the cement
poured into the frame. When the pipe gets clogged, it
whips around like a firemans hose. Youve got to
hold on tight, he said. Using saw and sledgehammer, Becente
quickly braced the form when it started to pull away from the
gave Bandurski, a third-year graduate student, his first experience
in concrete or construction. He earned his undergraduate degree
at Indiana University in painting and Chinese and decided to
study architecture because he wants control over everything.
As a painter I want to design and set up galleries the way I
envision them, he said.
of a summer job, Gutierrez gave him the chance to pick
up a shovel and learn what takes place on the receiving
end of architectural plans.
each School of Architecture and Planning project, the faculty
encouraged students to get involved. In this case, they even
got paid. Other projects Adams and his students have taken on
include a Habitat for Humanity house and another habitat
for the NASA Pursue Program a student built and programmed
challenge course for mini robots that is easily transportable
to conferences, said Adams.
students get much more out of their education if they have a
chance to work at projects in various stages, from the initial
design concept through completion. As teachers, its rewarding
to watch the students grow and share with one another,