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  • The University of Utah

    College of Architecture + Planning

    375 S. 1530 E., Rm. 332 Arch

    SLC, UT 84112

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    WESTWATER

    Prefabrication without preconceived notions

    One of our most challenging homes to date was also one of our most rewarding projects. Located 30 miles north of Bluff outside the reservation, the site is truly off the grid, lacking running water and electricity. The relative inaccessibility of the site to our campus and to basic infrastructure gave our students the opportunity to explore the nature of prefabrication while exploring alternative energy solutions. The house was constructed on the DBB campus and then transported to the site. To simplify the process, our students designed two modular volumes similar in width and varying lengths to create constancy of building and finishing materials. After completion, the two volumes were transported to their site and set into place. Overlooking the town of Blanding as it rises 16' above ground, the elevated design adapts to the extreme slope of the existing site. A highly insulated wall cuts between the two volumes to divide the house into public and private spaces. At this wall, the volumes shift in opposite directions in both plan and elevation, playing multiple roles as a design element by dividing spaces while containing all utility lines, as well as acting as the central supporting structure for each volume. Assisting the wall in structure are pier-like tube steel columns sandwiched by lightweight steel beams. To accommodate the family of six, the private volume extends an additional 12' in length, allowing for a large flexible space for the children and a small private room for the parents. The public volume was designed to provide the family with a large open space including a kitchen, living and dining area. Outside a deck wraps around, connecting the back of the house to the front. Space under the elevated house functions as a carport as well as storage.

    Credits

    University of Utah Students

    Jesse Biggs, Jeff Bolinger, Corey Bowman, Geoff Burns, Kristen Bushnell, Chris Clemmons, Aniket Deshpande, Tonya Gibbons, Laura Hardy, Eric Harker, Brad Jones, Katianne Jones, Clayton Kitterman, Jennifer Binks Lindley, Chad Littlewood, Jen Mackia, Scott Moses, Ashley Thompson, and Cortland Wilson