A Colorado House For Alternative Living

New Construction

Rigorous sustainable design and attunement with ancient principles of sacred geometry highlight this southwestern house, built for new age clients wishing to live with direct awareness of their immediate and extended environment. Primary cylindrical walls, coupled with open spatial organization, provide positive support for personal energy, while simultaneously resisting lateral pressures of unstable soil and maximizing views and solar exposure. The 3250 square foot house finds its aesthetic meaning in the combination of practical solutions to environmental issues with the shared spiritual sensibilities of client and architect.


Open ranch land with scattered pines and junipers. Spectacular views to distant mountains. Foundation soil: Mancos formational shale—very high swell potential when wet and high consolidation potential under building loads.


Primary client requirements include the use of "roundness" and sacred geometry, off-grid heat and power generation, integrated space for both living and working, composting sewage treatment, greywater processing and recycling, locally available materials.


Composite masonry and wood frame. Reinforced concrete walls at basement, stucco and plaster coated rammed-earth block walls at first floors, wood frame walls at entry and second floor, concrete basement slab, wood frame floors elsewhere. Exterior frame walls sided with local red cedar, interior trim details of dead juniper found on site.


Aggressive passive solar primary heating and cooling. Climate and site generated system—insulated, air-tight, oriented toward south facing slope with minimum northern exposure. Two story greenhouse/sunspace partially filled with direct gain walls, supplemented with a masonry rock store under basement slab to reduce overheating in the day and to provide radiant heat at night. Sunspace overheat transfered to rock store by two return air ducts and fans. Back-up heat: centrally located Russian Oven.


Photovoltaic system including lead-acid batteries. PV panels mounted on remote tracker for maximum year round output. Potential to sell excess generated electricity to local public utility.

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