As part of his Master’s Degree in Architecture, Fänas Designer Kyle Plantico recently had the opportunity to design and build one of 7 new cabins for the Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) through the University of Colorado Denver’s Colorado Building Workshop program. The experience was packed with useful lessons about the design and construction process. Among the most important were:
Be Sensitive to the Surroundings: Every site comes with a unique set of opportunities and constraints and the architect’s challenge is to balance the client’s needs & desires with the realities of the building location. The COBS cabins sit on a steep, pristine wooded slope at the foot of Mt. Massive in Leadville, CO, where they will typically experience 60 or more inches of snow a year, receive intense UV exposure, and will be occupied by outdoor guides with enough muddy gear to fill an REI. This resulted in cabins built out of durable materials like hot-rolled steel and natural cedar that require little-to-no maintenance, elevated above the ground to minimize the impact to the surrounding environment, and designed to capture snow on the roofs to provide additional insulation during the harsh winter months.
Details Matter: Particularly on a tight budget, the architect’s attention to every detail not only ensures the building will hold up over time, and look beautiful, but that it caters perfectly to the specific lifestyle and needs of the inhabitants. The COBS cabins artfully pack ample storage and functional space into the small rooms without making them feel confined, while connecting to the natural beauty of the site.
Have Fun: No matter the scale of a project, from a tiny cabin to a large custom home, the design and construction process is an extremely rewarding undertaking. Though finances, deadlines and construction changes may seem stressful, by working with a passionate and talented team, the entire process ends up as an exciting, memorable, and enjoyably rich life experience.
At Fänas Architecture, we’d love to help you through the design and construction process, and create a truly memorable project. Contact us at 303.444.5380 or firstname.lastname@example.org