Outpost by Tom Kundig
Set in the remote and harsh high desert landscape of Idaho, Outpost is an artist live/work studio and sculpture garden for making and displaying art. An important aspect of the complex is the protected paradise garden, which is separated from the wild landscape by thick masonry walls. The materials used in the structure, including concrete block, car-decking, and plywood, require little to no maintenance, and are capable of withstanding the extreme weather that characterize the desert’s four seasons.
Outpost’s compactness limits site impact and reinforces the desire to be outside. The architects chose a readily available construction material – concrete block – for the primary structure; commercial builders were able to quickly and cheaply assemble the building. Interior materials are left largely unfinished.
In a windy environment, the enclosed garden provides protection to develop a cultured space. Nothing outside the walls is modified. The footprint of the building is the limit of intrusion into the landscape – a simple, clearly defined space within the landscape.