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. Explore the ways research and creative projects at CAP ignite evolution that enriches places for people and the planet.
“Windcatcher House” was designed for a single mother and her son in Southeastern Utah. The design aims to protect from the harsh desert climate, while utilizing the beneficial attributes of the natural elements. This manifests itself in the focal point of residence, the central hearth, or “windcatcher.” The hearth naturally acts as both the primary cooling and heating source for the home, utilizing passive evaporative cooling through wetted media within the tower, and a wood stove at its base. Thermal mass is utilized through compressed earth blocks surrounding the stove and rammed earth walls, protecting the home from harsh winds and the intense summer sun.