For the longest time, I’ve been pondering on the possibilities of “off-the-grid’ living in the Nigerian context. Granted, our “grid” is not in the best shape and sometimes, living in the ‘city’ can mean that you have to generate your own power (generators) provide your own water (boreholes) and in some instances pave your own roads. But, my meaning stems more from location and environment that any other thing. The possibility of living remotely in the hilly, rock filled north or the more humid, foresty, south.
Its with that mindset, that I share with you a residential project by Imbue design set in a remote desert location just outside of the U.S. Capitol Reef National Park. The objective of the project was basically to design and build, on a modest budget, A main residence with guest house and studio outbuildings, filled with intimate and practical spaces, from which views of the surrounding (sparse) vegetation and rock formations could be enjoyed all the while minimising the building footprint on the site.
Their solution was simple and smart. L shaped volumes with shed roofs create an interesting constrast in geometry between the straight lines of the buildings and the jagged, randomness of the nature that surrounds it.
Large glass walls at the ends of the ‘L’ allow for an openness within the home offering views of the aforementioned rock formations.
Corrugated Corten steel panels and cedar siding form the outer skin of the building envelope naturally (and gracefully) aging over time as they face the arid heat of sand and sun. This aesthetic fits excellently well with red rock and seemingly pale desert vegetation offering a home within the desert that looks as though it belongs there.