Into the Wild

These amazing micro-dwellings in the heart of the Rocky Mountains were designed by architecture students of the University of Colorado Denver. Located on a sleep hillside in the middle of a pine forest near the small town Leadville, these cabins serve as dormitories for the Colorado Outward Bound School, a nonprofit organization that focuses their work on outdoor education by expeditionary learning to enhance leadership skills, boost self-esteem and connect the students with nature.

These 14 cabins, each around 13m² to 18m² consist of two main elements: a steel frame and a box, that is clad in hot-rolled steel, which is durable and requires little maintenance. The boxes as well as the surrounding porch, which are supported by the steel frame are raised from the ground to reduce the environmental impact. The frame acts as a storage for outdoor equipment like bikes, kayaks and skies and supports the snow-proof roof, made out of corrugated metal. While the walls and the plywood for the interior were prefabricated, the structure was constructed on site and completed in three weeks.

The materials as well as the design itself blend harmoniously into the surrounding and keeps the visual impact of the structures at its minimum.

The interior of the cabins is minimalistic but meets all needs of the occupants. Milled birch plywood with integrated beds, desks and storage spaces creates a warm atmosphere and intensifies the connection with the surrounding trees.

The views from the private spaces are directed to the trees and the distant mountains, while the views from the public areas in the cabin are directed to the outdoor social spaces, that emerge from the organization of the cabins in relation to each other.

For more information about the project, have a look at the links below:

University of Colorado

Archdaily

Another interesting project by the students of the University of Colorado:

Nakai House by University of Colorado

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