’Placemaking‘ is a process in which communities are actively involved in shaping their public spaces. When the Spruce and Columbine Garden Club hired Greenhouse DBE to design a park for public events and a beautification of the downtown corridor, we knew Placemaking was going to be a perfect tool. Numerous meetings, brainstorms, and a particularly creative town council opened our minds to how to design Volunteer Park in Nucla, Colorado. History became the primary creative stimulus.
The community was founded as a cooperative agrarian community in the early 1900's. This utopia in the high desert relied on construction of the 13 mile Colorado Cooperative Company ditch. Heirloom orchards, pioneer infrastructure, and water became the vernacular of this stakeholder driven design. Our concept fulfilled the infrastructure needs and infused the design process with a lively, citizen engaged process. The club continues to fundraise and implement the design in phases.
The ico is a tiny house made of 15 equilateral triangles. A natural builder introduced me to the icosahedron framework and I appreciated its elegance and simplicity. The architectural design creates an energy efficient building envelope and harvests passive solar gain. The pentagonal floor plan lends itself to multi-functional furniture and custom built-ins. The alternating inward/outward leaning walls and 12 foot peak create a surprisingly expansive feel. The majority of the materials originate from bartering, repurposing, and recycling. The result is an attractive, affordable, and energy efficient dwelling.
I built for $54/sf and spent four years gleefully housed in a laboratory of tiny living. More on this process can be seen in the trailer to the documentary TINY and in the UTNE Reader .
A majority of my building experience has involved designing and installing tile and masonry. For many years I ran a small business remodeling kitchens and bathrooms and enjoyed refining these more intimate areas of a dwelling. The precision and accuracy of tile transferred well when I became a project foreman for Aplin Masonry. There I was responsible for assembling monumental scale stone into the precision of CAD generated designs. I continue to be inspired by both ancient and contemporary uses of this medium.