Walking a backyard in northwest Denver, visitors will encounter an unorthodox-looking roof that has been coated and strengthened using thin-shell concrete. The roof takes on the sculptural shape of a hyperbolic paraboloid. Called a hypar roof, this beautiful form is the creation of George Nez, an 91-year old international habitat and resettlement pioneer who long ago (1958) served as the planning director for this city.
It’s time to revisit Colorado architect Doug Eichelberger’s trash barn and comment on the refreshing economic and sustainable philosophies that are behind the outbuildings he’s created using little more than scrap that was destined for the landfill or found materials.
A finely constructed house or building hides the vast majority of its inner parts. Like the skin on a body, typically either a drywall or plaster are constructed to conceal a complex web of plumbing pipes and joints, electrical wiring and outlets.
Such concealment is not always common today. The ceiling components in many new stores and restaurants – once discreetly hidden by a drop-ceiling grid containing 2’ x 4’ panels – now reveal a run of girders, PVC pipes and smartly painted ductwork for the HVAC system.
There is plenty enough to know about all the trash we create and the wastefulness of our ways. But when you meet Colorado architect, Doug Eichelberger, you are happy to find a person who is all about solutions, putting trash to use as a building material. A visit to his Lucky Ranch reveals a very…