Palisades Glacier Hut
Passive Design / Modular Assembly
California / Unbuilt
This project envisioned a modular system for accommodating a new generation of huts in areas of the National Parks that see the heaviest use. Huts allow for overnight stays of larger groups of people while reducing the impact of tent based camping. This system allows for flexibility and can be set up for a small group or for a larger facility where scouts, school groups and others might gather for wilderness programs. The hut system has long been a way of dealing with the large numbers of visitors in the European Alps and is being considered in more parks in the US as use increases. The modular construction methods of this sustainable building system are designed to have minimum impact on the wilderness environment. Elevated above ground level, vegetation and drainage patterns are left undisturbed and the huts are able to function in widely varying snow depths. The sleeping cabins have basic fixtures: fold-down bunk beds, night sink, table, and locker space. The cabins are pre-fabricated, independent structural units that can transported to the site in sections by helicopter, truck or horseback. The south-sloping roof plane is a variable-function solar array that incorporates photovoltaic and thermal solar panels, glass and cutouts open to the sky. Rainwater and snowmelt water is collected from the roof and stored in cisterns for campers use.