Imbue Design creates a rusty orange dwelling in the Utah desert

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Imbue Design completes a rusty steel dwelling in the Utah desert

This house in the Utah desert is covered in sheets of rusty Corten steel to match the colour of the earth, while its four glazed gables are designed to take in views of the mountainous landscape (+ slideshow).

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design

Salt Lake City studio Imbue Design designed the house, called High Desert Dwelling, for a plot on the outskirts of Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. It comprises three buildings – the main house, a guesthouse and a garage.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design

Two L-shaped volumes, both with mono-pitched roofs, intersect to form the main home. Together, they project four glazed ends in opposing directions to take in views of the surrounding sandstone mountains, valleys and shrubbery.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design

"Tucked away in a remote desert location just outside of the US Capitol Reef National Park is a plot of land with some of the most impressive rock formations in the world," said the architects.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design

"Reflecting the red rock megaliths that protrude out of the horizontal landscape, the sharp lines of the house rise above a shroud of vegetation to stand in contrast to ancient, twisted juniper trees," they added.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design

The long facades of the house, as well as the small guesthouse and garage buildings, are clad in sheets of the rusty Corten steel. These are contrasted by planks of cedar wood, which frame the glazed gables and form a set of steps at the entrance.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guesthouse

"Like the native rock and trees, corrugated Corten panels and cedar siding naturally age to a self-protective patina baked on by the arid heat and desert sun," explained the team.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guesthouse

The overall aim was to create a space with "intimate nooks and gathering spaces". As a result, each of the house's four wings provides a different function. Two of the wings are taken up by bedrooms, while a lounge and dining room occupy the remaining areas.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guesthouse

A kitchen, utility room and bathrooms sit at the centre of the plan, where doors open out onto a large decked patio.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guesthouse

As well as the large windows set into the gable walls, picture windows were added the flanks of the living and dining room to provide views between wings. These windows also align to offer glimpses of the landscape on the other side of the building.

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guesthouse

"The volumes ends are open in expansive glass walls to highlight views of the specified formations," they added, "while horizontal windows along the lengths of the volumes frame panoramic views of everything between."

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Garage

Photography is by Imbue Design.


Project credits:

Architects: Imbue Design
Structural engineer: Shen
Engineering contractor: Moosman Construction

High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Site plan – click for larger image
High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Main residence floor plan – click for larger image
High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Main residence roof plan – click for larger image
High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guest house floor plan – click for larger image
High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Guest house roof plan – click for larger image
High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Garage floor plan – click for larger image
High Desert Dwelling Capitol Reef by Imbue Design
Garage roof plan – click for larger image