This project, funded by The Alm Foundation, called for the siting and designing of a summer camp for seventy-six, inner city Los Angeles school children. The sixteen-building program includes cabins, a counselors' lodge, director's house, dining hall, camp kitchen, swimming pool, horse barn and other support and recreation facilities. The camp is located at the mouth of two canyons, along Paintrock Creek, and the siting and composition of the structures draw their inspiration from the surrounding landscape. The boys' cabins, rising up along a canyon wall, are mounted on columns to minimize their disturbance of the sweeping landscape. The girls' cabins, in contrast, recede into the valley below through the aid of deep-set retaining walls.

Balconies and roof decks abound to take full advantage of the views and overviews available on the property, and they encourage multiple perspectives of the landscape.

The rugged terrain in which the camp is sited informs the buildings' construction and, as a result, influences the quality of life at the camp. Since Hyattville is at the heart of Wyoming's big-sky country, all of the buildings open up to embrace the landscape. The dining hall, with its glazed elevations and skylights, draws in shafts of sunlight. In the cabins, large rolling doors open to decks that connect the sleeping space to the outdoors and the sky. In all cases, the rooflines of the structures engage in a dialogue with the hills and canyons that surround them, in some cases mimicking their geometric shapes and in others acting as a counterpoint to them.

In response to the constraints of a small budget and a limited construction timeframe of only 15 months, Thompson and Rose Architects selected local materials, such as regional river rock and cedar siding. These choices respond in scale, color and texture to the natural composition of the site and succeed in strengthening the ties of the architecture to its location.

Construction on this project was completed in June of 2000.

This project has been published in the October 2002 issue of Architectural Record and has received a 2002 American Institute of Architects New England Design Award, a 2002 American Wood Council Wood Design Honor Award, a 2002 I.D. Annual Design Review Design Distinction Award, and a 2001 Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Design Excellence.

Photo Credits:

Chuck Choi Architectural Photography