Rabbit Ear references a nearby volcanic outcropping that shares this project's namesake. The house like its moniker is a product of the land. From the structure to the finishes, natural building solutions abound in this unique home. Oriented such that it minimizes the impact of prevailing west winds that sweep across the desert, the exterior of the project is sensitive to the ever constant accumulation of red sands. The eastern entrance cloisters the resident and visitors while respecting the Navajo tradition of greeting the rising sun. Plaster recessed into faceted projections from the window keep the trim clean and in harmony with the terrain. A double wall packed with locally harvested straw bales thermally insulates the interior at an impressive value of R-39. The house is warmed by a centrally located masonry heater, finished to match the exterior plaster. The oak exterior siding is naturally treated by burning the wood, this is a Japanese technique called "yakisugi". Views of the sacred rock formations provide a visual connection to the client's homeland.
LocationDinétah, Navajo Nation
Year of completion2013
University of Utah StudentsJared Anzures, Anya Barmina, Stephanie Crabtree, Matthew Duncan, Kristi Faught, Cody Gabaldon, Hakam Shafiq, Nicolas Stock, Rosemary Stum, and Dan Teed.