Albuquerque, NM - Residential
2005, 2200 square feet

Sustainable design elements abound in the house.  The construction follows timeless, traditional adobe and timber building methods of the Southwest while the form and layout of the spaces are distinctly modern.

The original home (2,200 s.f.) is situated on a rural quarter-acre site in the historic Los Griegos neighborhood.  It contains four bedrooms and two bathrooms on two levels.  The bedrooms are upstairs, a third intermediate floor holds a library and small office.  The compact volume of the structure helps conserve the land for a small vineyard, a garden and fruit trees; all watered by an acequia (irrigation ditch) from the Rio Grande river.

The longer dimension of the original house is placed on the east-west axis for solar access and control.  Passive solar heating in winter and solar shading in summer reduce the need for conventional heating and cooling. The walls are made of adobe (mud-brick) from nearby, the roof and upper floor are built of wood from local sources, the main floor is made of clay tile over concrete warmed by solar heat gain in winter and cool through the summer.

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Most of the walls are plastered and the floors on the upper levels are of American cherry wood. There are outdoor decks on the west, south and east sides for observing the surrounding vistas to the volcano cliffs, the open fields and the Sandia Mountains respectively.  natural light comes into every room of the house and in the main living areas, from all directions.

Greg’s design influences for the home were taken from the local building traditions of his ancestors and from architects, Juan Navarro Baldeweg of Spain and Alvaro Siza of Portugal. Both use mass and natural light to create sculptural forms around unique spaces.  The house demonstrates how natural light is used as a building element and ornament is the expression of the natural finish of a material.