University of Colorado Denver

College of Architecture and Planning

Web Design by baDesign

University of Colorado Denver | College of Architecture & Planning | Web Design by baDesign


“Windcather House”, was designed for a single mother and her son, in Southeastern Utah. The design aims to both protect from the harsh desert climate, while utilizing the beneficial attributes of the natural elements. This manifests itself in the focal point of residence, the central hearth, or “windcatcher.” The hearth naturally acts as both the primary cooling and heating source for the home- utilizing passive evaporative cooling through wetted media within the tower, and a wood stove at its base. Thermal mass is utilized through compressed earth blocks surrounding the stove and rammed earth walls, protecting the home from harsh winds and the intense summer sun.

University of Colorado Faculty:
Rick Sommerfeld
Rob Pyatt

DesignBuildBLUFF at the University of Utah:
Hank Louis
Mitch McCombs
Andrew Foster
Cynthia Bithell
Atsushi Yamamoto

Structural Engineer:
Christopher O’Hara
Studio NYL Structural Engineers


Amber Danzl
Amy Beresford
Cayla McConnell
Dominic Herrera
Emily Martin
Eric Sechrist
George Kincaid
Jessica Garfin
Jocelyn Turkowski
Jonah Rogin
Joshua Paulsen

Katie Carleo
Lisa Robins
Matthew Joiner
Matthew Rennert
Mike Sullivan
Mark Olsen
Nik Rael
Nina Afshar
Peter Lutz
Tina Pruett
Wren Hoffmann