Cooper Joseph Studio

Cooper Joseph Studio


Southern Utah Museum of Art

Cedar City, Utah

A museum managed and run by students on an existing state university campus, the facility promotes a journey from campus upward and outward to the surrounding mountains. This journey created by a “sheared” plan of sloping ramps is meant to mimic moving through a canyon. Pedestrian ramps overlook a study area, storage and teaching spaces as well as galleries that feature the work of local artist Jimmie Jones. The ramp circulates up and through the building to reach a viewing area overlooking the surrounding mountains.



Sonoma, California

This Sonoma project built took the wooden frame of a nondescript two-story spec residence (shown above) and cut out part of the floor to create an open double-height living area focused across the bucolic Sonoma vineyard landscape. With this new interior plan, the architects created an external frame of steel and wooden slats to cover up the original frame house (and the existing roof) turning an ugly ducking into a beautiful architectural swan.

Small House

Sonoma, California

This small 859 square foot guesthouse is constructed of concrete planes facing the road and large glass walls overlooking surrounding olive groves and a dry creek. A cascading three-level stairway connecting domestic, public, and kitchen work areas replicates the sloping site. The palate is tactile, made of zinc, wood, and grey stained oak. Small open glass corners and cantilevered windows heighten this closed yet open and dynamic design.


Picnic Pavilion

Webb Chapel Park Pavilion

Dallas, Texas

This small pavilion creates a shaded—hopefully cooler—amenity for a Dallas public park. It takes an existing Dallas park typology, the open framed outdoor eating area, and creates a modest but smartly designed architectural space using the traditional “palapa” or natural cooling tower. Cast-in-place concrete benches and intense yellow interiors help maintain a cool feel in the torrid Texas summer.


National Butterfly Center

Mission, Texas

The Butterfly Education Center had a modest budget but a program that reads like an idealized academic brief. Defined by human scale elements, rustic and formal gardens, and water retention areas, it is meant to promote butterfly watching and respect for the environment. The firm’s solution was a clever one that emphasizes local nature through both association and contrast. Finally it zones the surrounding butterfly watching landscape into discrete areas of enclosure and open space with both blending into distant wild habitats.