American Hardwoods
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The Small Project Awards Program of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) “was established to recognize small-project practitioners for the high quality of their work and to promote excellence in small-project design.” The program, now in its 14th year, “strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to projects, no matter the limits of size and scope.

A jury of five architects, hailing from California, Chicago and New York, made the 2017 award decisions. And one of the award recipients in the Program’s Category 1 classification – which  recognizes “work of environmental art or architectural design element up to $150,000 in construction cost- was the Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins.

  • Located in a forest 10,000 feet above sea level, the 21 unique cabins are an exploration in micro housing.
  • The initial 14 cabins were designed as seasonal housing for temporary staff. The second set of seven cabins was designed as year-round housing for permanent staff.
  • Each set of cabins was completed in three weeks of on-site construction by 28 graduate students from the University of Colorado College of Architecture and Planning, Colorado Building Workshop.
  • Cedar clad porches create private spaces. The hot-rolled steel rainscreen blends with the trees, minimizing visual impact. Prefabricated birch plywood brings warmth to the interiors and connects to the surrounding environment.”

For information on all of the 2017 project winners, visit

Image credit: Jesse Kuroira

Image credit: Jesse Kuroira


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American Hardwood Information Center

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