Root Cause is pleased to recognize Platt Architecture as its 2014 Root Cause Award for the Support of Local Forest Products. They have shown that with proper planning and effort our local forests, businesses and craftspeople can be supported and better utilized. We also applaud their sustainable design efforts and their commitment to sustainable development through Conservation Partners of North Carolina. Visit the Platt Architecture website for more information.
We collaborated on two projects in 2014 with Tyner Construction. Both were locust railing installations at two homes at Mountain Air Country Club in Burnsville, NC. Platt Architecture included the railings in their plans for the homes, and with their specifications in hand we were able to build and install the railings, meeting the construction schedule for both projects. Tyner Construction, located in Burnsville and Arden, NC, specializes in custom mountain and lake homes.
A message from Lang:
I would like to thank Ned Ryan Doyle and Michelle Smith of Our Southern Community for coming to Fairview to interview me about Root Cause. They are staunch advocates of our forests and have been very supportive of Root Cause I encourage folks to check out their website, and to like them on Facebook. We are fortunate to have advocates for our region like Ned and Michelle!
Click here to listen to the interview on the Our Southern Community website.
Grace Builders commissioned us to add a rustic touch to an interior remodel of a residence located in Laurel Park. We used rhododendron to weave in between the maple railing which the builder had installed. Our rhododendron infill provided a beautiful addition to the stairway while meeting all safety code requirements.
The second annual Root Cause Awards, celebrating achievement in the local forest products industry and sustainable forestry have been announced.
The three winners are:
Cullowhee-based non-profit forest stewardship consulting group Forest Stewards is the recipient of the 2014 Award for Sustainable Forestry for its efforts in promoting sustainable forestry in the Appalachians. By offering stewardship services to land owners and educating the public about the important role our forests play in the region, Forest Stewards has made our forests stronger.
Furniture-maker Max Woody of Marion, NC is the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award winner for his lifetime of work in the wood products industry. His beautifully designed chairs are a reminder of the great forest products industry heritage in our region and the many businesses that rely on its survival.
Al Platt and Platt Architecture of Brevard, NC are the recipients of the 2014 Award for Support of Local Wood Products for their efforts to use local forest products in many of the homes they design. Platt has shown that with proper planning and effort our local forests, businesses and craftspeople can be supported and better utilized.
“It was a pleasure to give these three awards to such good advocates of our forests,” said Lang Hornthal, Root Cause founder. “Our hope is that as we work to raise awareness with Root Cause, the community will continue to support businesses and non-profits that recognize the importance of sustainable forestry and our forest product-based businesses.”
A directory of Root Cause affiliates is available online and others in the local forest products industry are invited to join. This includes all segments of the forest products industry from foresters to woodworkers and all related businesses and organizations in between that make up western North Carolina’s vast forest products industry. Those involved with forestry or any forest-based businesses are invited to contact Appalachian Designs to get involved with the Root Cause Directory and receive recognition and support for their business.
The Root Cause initiative is committed to raising awareness in the southern Appalachians for the use of local forest products and sustainable forestry. As people seek to buy locally grown food, Root Cause emphasizes that that thinking can be extended to local forest products, which can stimulate the Western North Carolina economy while allowing for the mindful use of natural regional assets. In the region that is the birthplace of Forest Conservation in the United States, Root Cause seeks to continue WNC’s historic commitment to modern forestry.
We recently finalized a big project, now bound for a New Hampshire residence, that included some very cool, one-of-a-kind pieces. We worked with Connecticut-based architecture and interior design firm Mark P. Finlay Architects, AIA to design and build 24 furniture pieces including locust dining room chairs, oversized Adirondack chairs, locust benches, a round table with radius half-log benches, a locust picnic table with benches, a massive locust daybed swing and perhaps the highlight of the order, 3 log chairs that were carved out of a 36” diameter poplar tree!
These homeowners had a clear vision when they remodeled their Lake Lure home. We were happy that rustic locust railings from Appalachian Designs were part of that vision.
They also entrusted us with designing the table and bench group on their stunning screened in porch. The table and bench were custom designs, based on the specific dimensions, feel and use of their new porch. The table and bench are both matched black locust while the chairs are hickory with oak caned seats.
We also built and installed a locust slab mantle for their stone fireplace. We love opportunities to work with the vision and space of a client, and add custom rustic furniture and accents for the perfect end result.
Our latest installation at the Brew Pump in West Asheville is this sixteen-foot-long locust bench with tables. An Appalachian Designs original design, this bench and tables allow patrons to relax and enjoy a local beer. The Brew Pump is a bar and beer garden on Haywood Road, serving local beers in a dog-friendly outdoor space.
In 2013, we were contacted by Platt Architecture to bid a locust railing job for Falling Creek Camp located outside of Hendersonville. The intent of the project was to blend the camp’s interior spaces with its gorgeous natural setting using rustic and practical wood elements. Appalachian Designs sourced and installed the locust railings and column supports for the camp’s extraordinary new gymnasium designed by Platt Architecture. Around camp, we also built custom benches, and the stairs and railings for the dining hall and camper recreation area underneath it.
When you think “gymnasium” you don’t usually think open air, or timber frame, or two-story, but that was what Parker Platt of Platt Architecture in Brevard, NC envisioned. Working with owners Yates and Marisa Pharr, he designed a building that instantly felt timeless among other structures that had been part of the camp since it opened in 1968. Taking advantage of the terrain and lakeside location, Platt housed a full court basketball gym, complete with rock fireplace and stage for camp performances over an indoor soccer field. As if the structure itself was not impressive enough, the design also called for black locust trees to be used for column supports and the railing system. That’s where Appalachian Designs came in.
Black Locust Railings
Both levels of the gymnasium include hand peeled black locust logs with custom coped joinery, highlighting the unique character of the black locust species. Not only is this tree unique in its character, but also in its durability—it’s one of the few woods that are rated for an exterior application without being pressure treated.
We began on the lower level in November 2013, working mostly in our shop to custom build each section of locust railing that would go between existing support columns. The upstairs was trickier as each locust column was unique and each section had to be built on site. We even added a custom handicap rail and toilet paper dispenser for the bathroom! Despite a pretty harsh 2013-14 winter in WNC, we were able to finish this project on time.
On to the Dining Hall
Once the gymnasium project was completed, we began another project for the camp: outfitting the newly expanded dining hall deck with similar railing and custom benches. The layout allowed us to build most of the railings in our Fairview, NC workshop and then work with contractor Bill Wilson to complete the two stair systems on site. Below the deck is a wonderful hangout for campers, complete with foosball and ping-pong tables. Here we attached custom benches from locally sawn black locust to provide seating overlooking the lake.
Many thanks to Platt Architecture for recommending us for this project and to Yates and Marisa Pharr for letting us create something special at Falling Creek Camp!