This another project in our series dedicated to the recipients of the 2009 AIA Housing Award. Set in the remote and harsh high desert landscape of Idaho, Outpost is an artist live/work studio and residence for making and displaying art.
An important aspect of the complex is the protected “paradise garden,” which is separated from the wild landscape by thick masonry walls.
Outpost’s compactness limits site impact and reinforces the desire to be outside. The architects chose a readily available construction material – concrete block – for the primary structure; commercial builders were able to quickly and cheaply assemble the building. Interiors are exposed and unfinished; there is no waste in coatings and low to no VOCs.
The jury for the 2009 AIA Housing Award, had the following comments: "It is aggressive structural engineering, but the wood gives it a nice warmth too. Materials are rugged, simple and fit nicely and simply into the landscape like a protected oasis. "
"There is a simplicity and permanence to this; you feel you could come back in a thousand years and it would be the same."
Project: Outpost – Bellevue, Idaho
Architect: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Engineer: MCE Structural Consultants, Inc.
General Contractor: Upham Construction
Other Consultant: McNay Metals and Design
Photo Credit: Photograph © Tim Bies, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Material for this article courtesy of the AIA.