Research and Creative Work

In the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, students and faculty engage directly with our vibrant city, dynamic community, and magnificent landscape by working on real projects that make a real difference. 

Hozho House

Others Involved: DesignBuildBLUFF at the University of Utah: Jose Galarza, Director Atsushi Yamamoto, Assoc. Instructor Hiroko Yamamoto, Assoc. Instructor Andy Paddock, Structural Engineer Student Researchers: Shawn Adams Erica Alfaro Patrick Beseda Gregory Behlen Anastasia Chmel Megan Garrett Lacy Graham Patricia Gut Amy Keil Anna Huey Catalina Pedraza Henry Rahn Foster Ramsey Scott Rank Joe Stevenson Dana Trill Iassen Vladimirov Megan Voiles Ronald Willison Kristin Zuro Faculty Advisor: Rick Sommerfeld

in collaboration with DesignBuildBLUFF at the University of Utah

The clients, a soft-spoken Navajo couple, requested a home that would allow for family gatherings while simultaneously providing a private place of retreat. They had an intimate understanding of their environment and had already constructed a small shade structure on the property for family gatherings. Students from the University of Colorado Denver worked in collaboration with DesignBuildBLUFF at the University of Utah to design and built a modest 800 square foot home.

Constructed for $25,000 this single pitched cedar clad house is stitched into the landscape with a cedar and recycled aluminum rain screen designed to layer shadows and transparency. The aluminum sheathing wraps the building, folding out from the facade and intersecting the cedar screen to create apertures that protect the glazing, and the main entry, from direct southern sun. The cedar, held off of the facade, provides a depth that creates a subtle dynamism of light and shadow. The vertical screen is spaced to reduce direct heat gain of the façade helping to keep the home cool in the summer. The walls and roof are constructed with structural insulated panels that exceeding traditional insulation standards.

Two private volumes (the bedroom and bathroom) clad in cedar, define the interior of the home. Doors have been integrated into the cladding to conceal their location further emphasizing privacy. At the end of the hallway a nook desk is built into the wall. A continuation of the cedar volume, the extrusion provides a work surface while shading the window from the summer sun. The depth captures the southern view back to the original shade structure, one of the main inspirations for the design.

The more public area of the home has an open floor plan that transitions out to the patio. The patio is enclosed by the cedar rain screen on the east and west but opens north to a view of the Blue Mountains. The rain screen offers protection from the sun and wind while providing filtered light and animated shadows.

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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