The uniqueness of Privada’s building side was the greatest opportunity for this project.  There were amazing desert mountain views, and a large wash cutting through the middle of the site, so the solution was to split the house. We connected the garages and guest house to the main house by constructing a bridge over the wash. To see the mountain view to the rear, we made the finished floor higher in the back and dug the front into the hill. The home was anchored to the site with natural adobe masonry walls and columns growing from the topography.

Using exposed and plastered adobe masonry was a joint decision between the architect and the owner.  Traditional adobe block kept with the southwest style of the home and evoked the warmth of the desert environment. Native materials were used in harmony with CMU construction. They were naturally the same color and texture as the surrounding site. Carrying exposed adobe walls through the house connected indoor and outdoor living.

This home went through the “green” building permit submittal process.  The adobe used was a zero-waste, fully recyclable, local material.  It has a low embodied energy to produce and has a long life cycle as it is rot, termite, and fire-resistant.  Solar panels covered all flat roof areas, hidden with parapet walls.

The heart of this home comes from the warmth and authentic use of masonry adobe giving it a character no other material could have created.


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