near La Veta, Colorado
Build a home that can arise from the earth for a hundred years time and then return to the earth. Utilize the highest possible quality levels, sustainable materials, local craftsman, and minimal environmental impact
“Our client’s had laid out a profoundly conscious and articulate view of just how they wanted to live their years beyond work and the hustle of life in the 21st century. At every level of consideration, many far beyond the material, they provided us with inspiration for just how amazing this home could be. And, they understood the very dramatic « wildness » of their chosen site.
It was clear from the very first experience on the site, that this would be an example of « place » telling its aspiring co-creators just exactly what it wants. While integrating all the owner’s vision and desires, this home was designed by the very nature of the ridge from which it grew; organically, from the earth and stone of the High Desert it inhabits.” Finn Jorgensen design architect
The form was dictated by the natural conditions of its 7,200′ elevation surrounded by the 14,000′ peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, Greenhorn, Blanca Peak, and the magnificent and sacred Spanish Peaks, the world’s smallest high-mountain range.
In the spring and late fall, the winds blow over the mountains and ridges. The curvilinear form of the house and roof planes sloping down with the ridge allows the wind to « slide » around and over the house. The continuously curved walls provide wind-less sanctuaries, regardless of which the direction the wind is blowing. The articulation of the exterior walls of glass provides a visual experience of the home in the setting of the natural landscape and stunning views.
Taking cues from the ancient Southwest vernacular and Ancestral Puebloans mesa and cliff dwellings of the area, the curvilinear forms are punctuated with 56-massive 5-10 ton boulders that form outcroppings and natural features that bring the massive surrounding mountains into the home. A small rock-lined « rill » honoring the precious mountain water that courses through the high desert valley floors runs through the entry floor.
The home sits on a ridge with a 360 degree view. From every angle on the site there are sweeping views. In order to capture the expanses from each space, the design emerged without a single straight line. It is made up of a series of nested cylinders of various diameters and heights, creating a dramatic monumental, yet intimate, interior living environment.
Standing in front of curved walls of glass in every space, you are surrounded by the magnificent sunrises and sunsets, and the occasional dramatic thunderstorms charging across the immense sky. With sweeping views, you feel as though you can reach out and touch the high desert, the even higher mountains and to the east, the vast expanse of the Great Plains.
The owners wanted to build a home, made of the earth that would one day melt back into the earth. At well over 1,000,000 lb. home is likely to last for a hundreds of year. Its mass is made up of 24,000 compressed earth adobe blocks made from the earth directly below the building, anchored by sandstone boulders brought from the foot of the local Spanish Peaks.
Using earth, stone, steel, timber and glass, the home is a unique expression of elegant crafted naturalness. All materials inside and out are raw, natural, elemental, handmade with precision and attention to quality and detail, at every intersection.
The property was constructed at every level with a philosophy of « Beyond green« . « Brown » would be the more appropriate description of what informs every cubic inch of its magic and integrity………….
And……..last but not least……..the home is imbued with a vibrating, pulsing, living energy; the result of the place telling us so clearly and beautifully what it wanted…………we think that this « place » agrees……….
- Highest possible environmental standards
- Natural materials, earth, wood, rocks, water
- Integrated with the surrounding area
- Open, curvi-linear structure
- Low lying, connected to the earth
- Tranquil, peaceful, serene
- Property TypeResidential
- Sub-TypeSingle Family
- Year Built2015
- Living Area3058 sq.ft.
- No. of Floors1
- Water AccessWell
- ConceptionArchitect Designed
- Lot Size48 acres
- Heated GarageYes
- Garage Capacity2/3
- Parking Capacity10+
- TechnologyInternet & Sound wired
- Thermal MassVery High
- Type of constructionHighest quality
Compressed earth bricks, sustainably harvested timber, natural sandstone rocks
Phone +1 (415) 226-8091