Nakai House – University of Colorado students

architect_ DesignBuildBLUFF
location_  Utah, EEUU
project year_ 2011
photography_ James Anderson

collaborators_  James Anderson, David Hevesi, Zia Hooker, Courtney Hughes, Milen Milev, Cam Minor, Michelle Pollock and Josh Young.
senior instructor_ Rick Sommerfeld.
client_  Lorraine Nakai.
budget_  $25,000

from the architects_
DesignbuildBLUFF is a non-profit organization located in southeast Utah. The organization works with college students to help Navajos on the Indian reservation. Collaborating with DesignBuildBLUFF, during the summer of 2011 eight students from the University of Colorado at Denver designed the house, and during the fall semester moved to Utah for the build.

The team were tasked with replacing the home of Lorraine Nakai, an avid collector of books, ornaments and other memorabilia. “When we met her, she had her collections piled and dispersed within her old house. She expressed a strong desire to be able to showcase her eclectic collections in her new home – they were truly a part of who she was,” explains the team.

The house was built for an impoverished Navajo woman. With little-to-no construction experience, the team completed the house in 80 days with a budget of $25,000. The team’s final design is a true response to the client’s aspirations, existing site conditions, and extreme desert climate.

More importantly, the successful completion of this project hopes to inspire young architects and show them that with determination, persistence and the will to improve people’s living conditions, modern and thoughtful designs can be achieved even with little funding.

Courtesy of University of Colorado students.