Students design biker café, hope to build

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Final project for ARCH 2306, Architectural Design 3

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Amber Hodge, architect sophomore, and Juan Zamora, information systems specialist, work on the Rhinoceros software because there was only a two-hour time slot, and the software had technical difficulties. Zamora assists students during their allotted time. Ramon J. Barrera III

By Ramon J. Barrera III

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Even though the campus was mostly closed for classes this fall, some work just can’t be completed at home.

Amber Hodge, an architecture sophomore, has taken advantage of the college’s open time slots to use some of the resources available to work on her final project in ARCH 2306, Architectural Design 3.

Hodge was using a laser system that can be used to cut and engrave a variety of boards and acrylics to cut chip boards for a project she and her team will be presenting.

Hodge was using the laser to make cutouts to make a model of the building they designed.

The students hope to construct the project in town.

The project is being pitched to replace a building on the south side of Woodlawn Lake that will be taken down soon. With this project, the new site could become a biker café. Her research shows that the area is in a very established little community where everyone knows each other and who grow emotionally attached to their surroundings.

“I want to make it like a boomerang shape, because it all comes back around,” Hodge said to describe her team’s vision of their final project. She believes that researching the history and the culture of the area is key to the success of the business, so she wants her building to complete that.

Hodge said she knew from a young age she wanted to be an architect.

“It was definitely from my dad. He was a landscape architect, and I was always around his stuff,” Hodge said. “I used to watch my dad use those old bulky computers as he would do his work.”

Though her father’s work guided her to her career choice, she still does not know where it is taking her. “I don’t know if I want to go commercial or residential yet.”

No matter how little or large the job, safety is always the number one priority. At the end of a work bench, there was an empty Gatorade bottle with metal inside. “This is where we place our broken or extra blades. We do this so if we put our hands in the trash, we do not need to worry about cutting ourselves.”

The building also has a surplus of earplugs and safety glasses to ensure that every student and faculty member can work safely.

Hodge said that in her course, students complete three projects a semester.

She learned early that the architecture program at this college is held in high regard by transfer universities. “When I was in high school, I went to Texas Tech to an orientation. They said if you’re not going to come here, you need to go to SAC.”

Juan Zamora, information systems specialist, was on site to assist Hodge with using the laser. “It was Texas Tech who introduced us to Rhino,” Zamora said. He explained that Rhinoceros is the software the college used to guide the laser.

Hodge and her team will present Dec. 7 and will be judged by a jury of architects virtually from all over the U.S. The team will find out if they will be moving forward with the project from there.

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