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  5. Bradley Edwards
  6. 2010
  7. polypod / Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA

polypod / Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA

  • 01:00 - 30 September, 2011
polypod / Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA
polypod / Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA, Courtesy of Bradley Edwards
Courtesy of Bradley Edwards

Courtesy of Bradley Edwards Courtesy of Bradley Edwards Courtesy of Bradley Edwards Courtesy of Bradley Edwards +9

  • Architects

  • Location

    Fayetteville, AR, United States
  • Architect

    Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA
  • Design/Build Team

    David McElyea and Bradley Edwards
  • Owner

    Dr. Mark Thomas
  • Contractor

    David McElyea
  • Area

    160.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2010

From the architect. The polypod is a simple outbuilding with a multitude of possible uses. The project consists of a polycarbonate shell and an exposed wooden frame. The roof, floor, and wall "fold" to establish the vertical limits of all other materials and methods. The white translucent polycarbonate panels emit enough light to the interior while giving a hint of the structural logic from the outside. The building is an agent of light and shadow and takes advantage of the temporal quality of daylight.

Courtesy of Bradley Edwards
Courtesy of Bradley Edwards

Dr. Thomas had a very simple brief for the project. “I need a place to store some things, I have $5,000.00 and the building has to be beautiful”. The building is essentially a “primitive hut”. There are no (permanent) systems (HVAC, water, electrical) so the building was free to be a pure expression of architecture. The structure is made with a series of 2 x 4 continuous rectangular bent frames at 1’- 0” on center. Diagonal bracing is the most ubiquitous method of lateral bracing in stick frame construction, but in the polypod it is also in service to the scale and proportion of the space and building as a whole. The structure, set against the thin translucency of the skin, conveys the primary drama of the building, a relationship of light and shadow. There is also a rather complex relationship of the flatness of the panels (when frontally lit by sunlight) and conversely the reading of depth created by sunlight cast through the space (from the side opposite the viewer). These are the natural reciprocities and ambiguities granted by the translucency of the polycarbonate material and the qualities, which the project honors and promotes.

Polypod Exploded
Polypod Exploded

The design/build team consisted of David and myself and it was very important for us to stay within the budget. Not only for the obvious reasons (isn’t that what we are supposed to do?) but, as a proof that architecture can be achieved with any budget. There was a limit place on the project that materials (with the exception of the polycarbonate panels) had to be purchased at the local hardware store “off the shelf”, no special orders. This was done for obvious budgetary requirements, but again, also as a proof that architecture can be made with everyday materials.

Courtesy of Bradley Edwards
Courtesy of Bradley Edwards

Because of the (relatively) high cost of the polycarbonate panels, we had to be creative with how materials were selected and detailed in order to stay within the budget. This attention to every detail was a constant directive for the building process, for example: instead of paying for shipping, David picked up the polycarbonate panels in Tulsa (about 120 miles from Fayetteville). After factoring in gas and David’s hourly rate, picking up the panels (instead of having them shipped) saved about half the price of shipping. Another example is the choice of fasteners/attachment of the polycarbonate panels to the wood structure. We wanted an invisible connection where fasteners would be concealed or hidden when viewing the exterior and interior of the building. We considered many possibilities, most of which required either exotic materials or time-consuming labor, or in the worst cases, both. We found the perfect fastener in a small white exterior nail with just enough head to hold the polycarbonate material to the structure but not obtrusive enough to be seen from five or six feet away. Using these fasteners only cost $3.50 in material and about four hours of labor. This is one example of many in the project where the required outcome was an efficiency of the architecture, construction, and systems of assembly.

Text provided by Bradley Edwards.

Courtesy of Bradley Edwards
Courtesy of Bradley Edwards
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "polypod / Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA" 30 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/171907/polypod-bradley-edwards/>
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17 Comments

Nylon (PA 6, 66) Suppliers · January 16, 2012

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Scott Abercrombie · October 05, 2011
Carlisle · October 04, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards | ArchDaily http://t.co/etQazLqq via @archdaily

Omamah alsadiQ · October 02, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards http://t.co/RkgxGNOF #architecture

Ji?í Jánský · October 01, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards http://t.co/8u0vzwAG

Nicholas Patten · October 01, 2011
Pedro D. Munoz Jr. · October 01, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards | ArchDaily http://t.co/K9WH31or via @archdaily

Tweeted Times Top · October 01, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards | ArchDaily: http://t.co/f6E4NAPY most discussed on @MicheleTurbin/architecture (http://t.co/JEjz9BB4)

up_today_arch · October 01, 2011

just exercise, but well done!

Chad Bronstein · October 01, 2011

It was designed to store bicycles and cycling equipment.

Corporate Punk · September 30, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards: © Bradley EdwardsArchitect: Bradley Edwards, Architect AIA Location: Fayetteville, Ar... http://t.co/oj5BeuOR

Kara P. · September 30, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards & David McElyea | ArchDaily http://t.co/i6b9M40X via @archdaily

Santi Maggio Savasta · September 30, 2011

polypod / Bradley Edwards http://t.co/40mU6T45 #Architecture #Architettura

Anson Morris · September 30, 2011

A nice object but once you fill it with things it will lose much of its simple translucent beauty.

David · September 30, 2011 11:11 PM

Art happens.... enjoy it while it's there.

Adam Waltering · September 30, 2011

Not sure what you'd use it for. Not much of a shed...and undoubtedly more expensive than one.

Hamiltondean · September 30, 2011

A translucent box?...Really?

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