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Camp Paint Rock in Hyattville, Wyoming by Charles Rose Architects Inc.
December 2nd, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Charles Rose Architects Inc.
The dramatic setting for this unusual project is a 110,000-acre private ranch in north-central Wyoming, replete with steep canyons, tall mesas, rushing streams. The Alm Foundation, a private Los Angeles charity, commissioned Charles Rose Architects to build a camp in this rugged terrain for teen-agers from inner-city Los Angeles. There are 16 buildings in all “clustered around the mouth of a canyon” including boys and girls cabins, a dining hall, director’s house, counselors lodge and stable.
Paint Rock’s design seeks to harness the dramatic scale, power and beauty of the Western landscape. Building forms echo the geology and natural forms of the landscape. The roof of the dining hall, for example, is partly inspired by geologic fault lines; the fissures create openings for views up the canyon walls and allow in natural light. Many of the structures were built on steel platforms and stilts that burrow into the canyon’s steep walls. Decks, lookouts and sliding barnlike doors open these light, primitive buildings to the skies and sweeping views. The buildings, with their metal roofs, appear as glinting shards in the bright western sun. Together, they create a kind of neatly fractured community. Each building stands independently but connects through a series of pathways and bridges, which in turn reinforces through design the campus philosophy of self-reliance and leadership within an interdependent community.
Writing in All American: Innovation in American Architecture (Thames & Hudson), Brian Carter and Annette Lecuyer say of Paint Rock: “Sensitive to the differing ground patterns, it recalls the camp established by Frank Lloyd Wright at Ocotillo, successfully capturing the sense of those first moments of settlement and a tentative occupation of the land.” Completed in 2001, Paint Rock has received several other tributes, including an American Architecture Award, Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Design Excellence, American Wood Council National Honor Award and an ID Magazine Design Award.
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