Lama Foundation Design/Build Studio

This project consisted of a two-semester studio where I competed in an in-studio cabin design competition and then built the winning project during the summer semester after the studio. The winning project was built at the Lama Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. My cabin was not selected to be the one that was finally built, but my design was among the top three designs that were considered by the Lama Foundation residents. The cabin was meant to house a long-term caretaker of Lama and had to be able to withstand cold winter conditions at 12,000 feet as well as provide all the basic needs for a resident, including storage, living, working, and spiritual spaces. 


Completed Cabin

This photo shows the build on our final day at the Lama Foundation. The cabin offers views out off of the mountain as well as a sit-in window perfect for nestling down and reading. There is also a small porch hidden behind the plant life, giving residents a quiet nook to practice meditation and enjoy the beautiful New Mexico mountainside. 



These photos show the creation of our concrete slab, all mixed and poured by hand. The slab sits on six concrete piers that were dug deep into the rocky soil. 



These photos show students and our professors in the process of erecting the glulam beams that support the cabin. Custom steel brackets were fabricated to hold these in place. The glulams added a strong visual appeal to the cabin while providing strong support that could withstand high wind and snow loads that occur in the mountains. 



The cabin was framed using a combination of stick framing and post and beam framing. First, glulams shown in the photos above to the right were shaped to perfection through a combination of hand and power tools, and then erected using manpower alone. Then, stick framing was used to complete the rest of the walls and roof. 



The interior of this cabin consists of storage units, a desk, a bed, a wood stove for winter heating, and a cozy sit-in window for reading and meditation. As a year-round cabin, the wood stove was selected based on its high performance compared to other wood stoves and its reduced demand upon Lama Foundation's limited electricity supply. The logs seen hanging from the ceiling have LED lights built into them.