Emigration Canyon Residence

Emigration Canyon Residence

Architect
Sparano + Mooney Architecture
Location
Emigration Canyon, UT, United States
Project Year
2010
Category
Private Houses
Dennis Mecham

Emigration Canyon Residence

Sparano + Mooney Architecture as Architects

Located in Emigration Canyon just above Salt Lake City, Utah, this single family residence of 2500SF was designed for a couple with young children. The home was designed to capture expansive canyon views while offering a series of gathering and entertainment spaces for the family, both indoors and out. The great room opens to the canyon with a 30 foot operable wall to transform the space into an outdoor room.

 

The warm colors of cor-ten steel cladding combine with a board-formed wood textured concrete and glass for a contextual, low-maintenance and modern material palette. The house has earned the first LEED-H (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) Silver certification in the state with sustainable features throughout. Water use is minimized with dual-flush toilets and a rainwater capture system for irrigation of the gardens.

 

Natural light is brought into the house with solatube skylights and heat is provided through an energy-efficient in-floor radiant heating system. The design required minimum excavation of the site and allowed for the retention of much of the native oaks on site. The house is designed for long-term flexibility with a lower floor multi-use space to house guests, a home office, a playroom or an art studio. Native, draught-tolerant landscaping elements compliment the architecture and further tie the home to its canyon setting.

 

What materials were used?

The primary materials for the project are corten steel cladding, board formed concrete and steel structure. The steel has a high recycled content and the concrete contains fly­ash, a waste product derived from coal processing. The materials are durable and low­maintenance and require no finishes (paints, varnishes, sealers, etc.) at installation or during their long-term use and maintenance. Another factor in the selection of these materials was protection from fire, in a canyon which is threatened with wildfires. The building employs super insulation in the construction of its envelope, with R-35 walls and an R-50 roof. Seams on vapor barriers were carefully taped and gaps between windows and walls and foam filled. Windows and doors have high performance Low-E glazing. Expand on this project's sustainable design.

The sustainable design ideas were the driver of the project, beginning with the relatively small footprint of the house which was built at the minimum allowed area of 2500 SF determined by the CCRs of the development. The project was intended to "touch lightly on the earth" and does so with its compact footprint and almost camouflaged insertion into the natural environment. This sensitive integration into the site, gives the effect of living in a tree house, and serves to restore and enhance the natural habitat for the birds, coyote and deer that share the site.

 

The house was awarded the first LEED for Homes Silver level certification in the state with green features throughout. Water use is minimized with the use of dual-flush toilets and a rainwater capture system for irrigation of the gardens. Natural light is brought into the house with solatube skylights and heat is provided through an energy-efficient in­floor radiant heating system. The design provided minimum excavation of the site and allowed for the retention of much of the native oaks on site. The house is designed for long-term flexibility with a lower floor multi-use space. Native, drought-tolerant landscaping elements compliment the architecture and further tie the home to its canyon setting. What was the aesthetic approach?

The project aesthetics is one of simplicity as the design team worked toward a clarity in the architectural form. The house is a three-sided solid volume combined with an open fa9ade oriented toward the view. This parti was inspired by the site and the precedent of the Spanish courtyard which contains an element of the exterior environment at its core. Nature is pulled into the great room through the open wall allowing the space to serve as an outdoor room. The house was designed to be imbedded in its canyon setting, with a strong experience of nature and seasonal changes for the inhabitants.

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