Where the remote town of Bluff, Utah lacks in resources, its residents make up in ingenuity. Graduate architecture students at the University of Utah tapped into that spirit of resourcefulness in their design/build project Cedar Hall. The solar-powered timber structure was built primarily from salvaged materials and serves as a multifunctional gateway to campus.
Created for the University of Utah’s annual Design Build Bluff project, Cedar Hall is located next to the historic John Albert Scorup House, a historic 1890s property that, despite twelve years of effort, is unable to accommodate the multifunctional needs of the student body. The objective of the Cedar Hall project was to design a simple yet elegant flexible assembly space that could also attract the Bluff community to campus.
The 850-square-foot Cedar Hall building is clad in handsome, high-grade cedar planks coated in a marine-grade finish that wrap around the facade and the roof. “The idea was to create a portal that brings the energy of outsiders into the campus, which is why the north exterior wall is faceted with a natural plaster finish to enhance the funneling effect,” write the students. “The south face on the other end is extruded, into a trellis system. Blending with the landscape the trellis attracts visitors towards the inner workings of the campus.” Around 70% of the framing is constructed from materials reclaimed from a deconstructed house in Park City. Other salvaged materials were also upcycled into windows and furniture.
The simple open-plan interior was designed for flexibility. Steel barn doors for a storage closet double as a magnetized pin-up space and are flanked by dry-erase marker walls. Opposite the steel bars on the west wall is a built-in shelf space that houses two large moveable partition walls that can also be used as additional writing surfaces. A custom spiral staircase built with salvaged glulam treads leads up to the roof where the PV solar panel array is located. The trellis features a water-catchment system to collect rainwater.
Images via Design Build Bluff, by Spotlight Home Tours