From C R Heal
Unique, Southern Colorado, mountain sanctuary.
Beyond “green”, Natural Living, La Veta lifestyle
Curvi-linear, ultra “green”, open plan home, constructed from compressed earth bricks, sustainably harvested timber & natural sandstone rocks. A series of “emotional zones” in a unique home with no straight walls, no corners & minimal doors.
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, minimal environmental impact & low maintenance
In the spring and late fall, the winds blow over the mountains and ridges. The curvi-linear 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 curvi-linear 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. the home is likely to last for hundreds of years. Its mass is made up of 24,000 compressed earth adobe blocks made from the earth collected from directly below the building, anchored by sandstone boulders sourced 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.
• 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
A place that is connected to the earth, without boundaries, where energy and light flow freely. The home features extraordinary architecture surrounded by stunning mountain views, with a great natural design that conveys a sense of visual energy and stirs the imagination. Located on a breathtaking 48-acre parcel in the Spanish Peaks, with captivating, unblemished views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The environment is one of peace and tranquility.
Constructed around 56 boulders, designed to capture the morning sun’s energy through expansive (low U value) easterly windows and later view magical sunsets behind Silver and Sheep Mountains, through the (high U value) west side windows. At night, the rooms are transformed by the romantic glow from the huge natural rock fireplace and the thousands of stars from the pure and unpolluted Colorado night sky.
The open design provides different emotional zones. In harmony with the natural design, the home has no straight walls, being all curvi-linear. The huge thermal mass of the natural bricks and boulders creates a stable internal environment, which leverages the energy of the sunlight and acts as a natural heat store. The underfloor, walls and roof all exceed the required R value insulation standards.
The location has an ideal combination of wildlife habitat, with abundant pronghorn, white tailed deer, elk, bobcats and soaring raptors.
This high desert home enjoys a 4 season lifestyle. A unique natural property in a very private, secure and pristine setting that provides Colorado living at its best.
La Veta Lifestyle
The property is close to the picturesque town of La Veta, just 11 miles away. La Veta is a hidden jewel in Colorado. A town of 1,000 people, it has a thriving artist community, restaurants, farmers market, and many cultural events throughout the year. In addition, there opportunities for cycling, hunting, fishing, skiing, boating, climbing and hiking. Day trips opportunities include the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs and Denver.
More details at 550mountainviewdrive.com