Micro Cabins
Located on a steep hillside in a lodgepole pine forest, these cabins were designed as micro dormitories for the Colorado Outward Bound School. The cabins sit lightly on the landscape, directing views from private spaces towards trees, rock outcroppings, and distant mountain views of the Mosquito Range. More public “community” views are directed into social spaces that develop from the organization of the cabins in relationship to one another. These community spaces are made up of front porches and the negative spaces between cabins.

To satisfy clients’ lodging and storage requirements, and to facilitate completion in three weeks of on-site construction, the cabins were conceived as two separate elements, a “box” and a “frame”. The “frame” acts as a storage device for the educators’ large gear (bikes, skis, kayaks, etc.) while simultaneously housing the cabin “box” and covered porches. The prefabricated cabin “box” rests in the frame under the protection of a “snow roof” designed to keep the winter snow load off the waterproofed roof below. Hot rolled steel provides a low maintenance rain screen for the box.  This steel cladding and the vertical columns blend with the lodgepole forest minimizing the visual impact of the cabins. Structural taped glazing on the windows eliminates mullions and connects the occupants directly with natural views.

The interior of the cabin is skinned in CNC’d birch plywood bringing warmth to the interior and evoking a connection with the trees surrounding the site. The plywood is specifically milled to accommodate desks, beds, and storage for each user. The walls and CNC’d plywood were prefabricated in Denver, flat-packed onto trucks, and shipped to Leadville to shorten the on-site construction timeline.

2017 AIA National Small Projects Award
2016 Residential Architect Design Awards (RADA)
2016 American Architecture Prize, Student Architecture
2016 American Architecture Prize, Gold-Small Architecture Prize, Silver- Social Housing
2016 WAN Metal in Architecture Award, Shortlisted
2016 Jury Winner Architizer A+ Awards, Typology Categories Residential: Private House (xs)
2015-2016 ACSA Design Build Award
2015 Architizer A+ Awards, Finalist, Typology Categories Residential: Private House (xs)
2015 AIA Colorado Honor Award
2015 AIA Colorado Citation Award
2015 Architizer A+ Awards, Special Mention, Typology Categories Residential: Private House (xs)

Derek Ackley
Sidney Aulds
Brent Beicker
Matthew Breen
Andrew Brown
John Giddens
Brandon Gossard
Aaron Gray
Dane Hardy
Chad Holmes
Casandra Huff
Mark Hurni
Timo Jyrinki
Rachel Koleski
Kate Lucas
Nathan Moore
Matt Ollmann
Aleka Pappas
Holly Paris
Nathan Pepper
Kit Piane
Ken Roberts
Louisa Sanford
Joe Stainbrook
Brandon Sweeney
Phil Stuen
Amanda Tharp
Elliott Watenpaugh

Maymester Students:
Becca Barenblat
Jeff D’Addario
Sam Palmer-Dwore

Rick Sommerfeld
William Koning
Scott Lawrence
Andy Paddock, PE
JD Signom
Jordan Vaughn

Carlisle Syntec Systems
Cummins Rocky Mountain
DuPont Tyvek
Glass Systems
Marx | Okubo
Oldcastle Building Envelope
Simpson Strong-Tie

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


CMS Login