Abiquiu Debut

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January 14, 2009
Originally published in In Its Element
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  • 
  Birgitte Ginge and Madeline Williamson imagined their golden years in a loft that mirrored their urbane sensibilities and professions in music and academia. So when they fell in love with a piece of land in the breathtaking Rio Chama 
watershed of northern New Mexico, the couple sought an architect who could harmonize their interests with the environment. Ginge takes us through the union of landscape, architects, clients, and contractors.
    Birgitte Ginge and Madeline Williamson imagined their golden years in a loft that mirrored their urbane sensibilities and professions in music and academia. So when they fell in love with a piece of land in the breathtaking Rio Chama watershed of northern New Mexico, the couple sought an architect who could harmonize their interests with the environment. Ginge takes us through the union of landscape, architects, clients, and contractors.
  • 
  Thanks to passive solar and radiant floors, the metal-clad home is comfortable year-round.
    Thanks to passive solar and radiant floors, the metal-clad home is comfortable year-round.
  • 
  For the snowy season, a Rais stove provides extra warmth.
    For the snowy season, a Rais stove provides extra warmth.
  • 
  Up above the sitting room a duo of Eames shell chairs and a bank of luminous operable windows await a pair of weary readers.
    Up above the sitting room a duo of Eames shell chairs and a bank of luminous operable windows await a pair of weary readers.
  • 
  The architects built the house around Madeline’s grand Schimmel piano. But that’s not to say the pair wanted to live in a concert hall. Having a flexible living space and accommodating recital guests took priority.
    The architects built the house around Madeline’s grand Schimmel piano. But that’s not to say the pair wanted to live in a concert hall. Having a flexible living space and accommodating recital guests took priority.
  • 
  Brigitte descends one of two locally fabricated steel cylinders: her “stairway to the stars.”
    Brigitte descends one of two locally fabricated steel cylinders: her “stairway to the stars.”
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  Ginge’s penchant for the bright red Varenna cabinets the couple splurged on is matched only by her love of animals; rescue pets are de rigueur around the house.
    Ginge’s penchant for the bright red Varenna cabinets the couple splurged on is matched only by her love of animals; rescue pets are de rigueur around the house.
  • 
  The price of steel and concrete skyrocketed during construction, yet Williamson and Ginge couldn’t imagine the house built of any other materials.
    The price of steel and concrete skyrocketed during construction, yet Williamson and Ginge couldn’t imagine the house built of any other materials.
  • 
  A perforated metal screen serves as a shower curtain.
    A perforated metal screen serves as a shower curtain.
  • 
  The rooftop is wired for a solar farm, but they are waiting for better prices and tax breaks before investing.
    The rooftop is wired for a solar farm, but they are waiting for better prices and tax breaks before investing.
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