Welcome to the River View House, a pioneering venture nestled in the heart of the Navajo Nation, where form meets function, tradition embraces modernity, and where every family can touch the sky and tread the earth with a sense of pride. Here, sustainability isn't just a feature—it's a way of life, engineered into each beam and infused in every wall.
The Gift of Labor: Sweat Equity in Every Corner
Sweat Equity: In the realm of River View House, we redefine investment. It's not the currency but the labor that shapes this community. This isn't just a construction but a manifestation of dreams, where families don the dual hat of homeowner and builder. It's about empowering residents, teaching them the ropes of construction, and ensuring they take more than just literal ownership of their homes—they take pride.
Ease to Build:
We've tailored the construction process to fit the needs of our people. The framing method is as sturdy as it is simple—2x6 and 2x4 posts and beams rise to form walls, with a monotruss system cradling the roof. To bypass the challenge of unpaved roads and remote access, the River View House shuns heavy machinery, celebrating manual craftsmanship instead. Even the complexities of plumbing concede to simplicity with a consolidated plumbing wall, lining all necessities neatly against the west, a homage to efficiency.
Crafting Spaces for Culture and Connection
East Deck: Arriving with the morning sun, the East Deck is more than an entryway—it is a canvas for future memories. In the details of this space, culture shines through: the deck faces east, not just to catch the sun, but to honor the Diné tradition of welcoming the day. And as for the cob oven nearby, it beckons gatherings of kin, where traditional cooking warms the air, and stories bake alongside bread within the earthen womb.
Materializing Dreams with Earth and Craft
Natural Plaster: Our walls whisper the tales of the land, with natural plaster binding tradition to each home. White tiles scatter sunlight across rooms, while acrylic 3Form panels crown countertops with resilience and grace. Baltic Birch furnishes spaces with warmth, and polycarbonate stands guard in the sunroom, a sturdy sentinel against the desert's embrace, allowing the heart to warm within sight of the Carrizo Mountains.
Home of the Brave: Thriving in the Desert Meridian
Sustainability: River View House is an off-grid paragon, designed to thrive disconnected, with the foresight for eventual grid integration. The soul of the dwelling relies on passive design—heat and cool, breath and light flow through the house like a well-known song, minimizing the reliance on the wood stove that stands at the ready for colder days.
Bringing the World Inside: Every Window a Different View
Views: Without stepping outside, the world unfurls in front of you. To the east, the gentle sun ushers in the day. Ute Mountain looms majestically, nature's sentry to the passage of time. To the south, the living spaces are saturated with Carrizo Mountains, a panoramic masterpiece painted beyond glass canvases that bring the outdoors in.
Crafting Comfort with Innovation
The Sunroom: Serving beyond aesthetics, the sunroom is the heart of thermal innovation. A bifold door and clever sunblades pair to invite or ward the sun, a dance with the seasons. The concrete slab, earth-kissed and sun-soaked, masters the indoor climate, echoing the stable calm of the land itself.
In Harmony with the Heavens: Reverence for the Night Sky
Light for Dark Skies: Perched on the silhouettes of our homes, light fixtures are more than accessories—they are guardians of the night. Modern, yet mindful, they cast light earthward, keeping the celestial wonders unspoiled, mirroring the silence and splendor of the desert sky.
River View House is more than a home—it is a promise. A promise of a life entwined with the land, a life where culture and modernity walk hand in hand, and where community is born not from proximity, but from shared sweat, dreams, and skies brimming with stars.
DBU@SLC STUDENT PARTICIPANTSAdam Berton, Chris Putt, Dominic Samoraj, Ekaterina Malygina, Fatima Ahmed,
Gordon Dzierzon, Jack Sparesus, James Schultz, Katelin Rathke, Mason Chavez, Maria del Carmon Copacati Orocollo, Marshall Nelson, Maryam Ebrahimnezhadhaghi, Payton Hutchison, Samira Marjaei
VolunteersMistie and Jason Manning,Gabrielle Ciet,Jason Cowley, Jennifer Cowley, and Carston Cowley, Chris, Holly, & Jordan Chun, Stephen Quesenberry, Todd & Becky Provstgaard, Chanson Miller, Soren Jorgensen, Deanna Larson, Steve Larson,
Jenny Page, Sydney Martin, Meghan Cihasky, Shawn Samani, Mary Anderson, Donald Anderson, Christine Cheng, Phillip Heck, Bob Sperling, Jazmine Ruiz, Boon Saysavanh, Alen Papic, Ethan lacy
FUNDING SUPPORTERS Utah Navajo Trust Fund, Navajo Revitalization Fund
DONORS Big-D Construction, Mountain Fiber Insulation, JRC Lighting, 3 Form
Jonathan Campbell (Wheeler Machinery), Wind River Timber,C.W. Group
Montezuma Orchard, Jennifer Cowley, Bob and Julie Sperling, Libby Haslam,
Paul McMullin, Jazmine Ruiz, Eagle Horizon LLC
INSTRUCTORS Atsushi Yamamoto (Bluff), Hiroko Yamamoto (Bluff), Jonathan Hickerson (SLC)