Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
ESCARPMENT HOUSE in Albuquerque, New Mexico by Sam Sterling
June 22nd, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Sam Sterling
Sited above Albuquerque’s Petroglyph National Monument, the Escarpment House is a visually porous version of the classic New Mexican courtyard typology. The house’s spatial sequence is a progression through outdoor spaces – from an entry court though a glazed interior courtyard to the Sandia View Patio.
The interior courtyard and its cooling pond create a sheltered outdoor room that is usable nearly year round while the space’s visual porosity – in contrast to typical courtyard homes – captures greater natural light and enables a visual extension of compact indoor spaces leading ultimately toward an eastern panorama view of the Sandia Mountains. The clients’ interest in the spatial qualities and openness of mid-century homes designed by A. Quincy Jones and Joseph Eichler was balanced with an appropriate response to Albuquerque’s temperate climate and the intense western sun and wind exposure on the west mesa site.
The 2,550 sf house encloses the interior courtyard with the bedroom wing on the north side and all public spaces arrayed along the south. In the courtyard, a black iron steel staircase cantilevers off the north and east walls and leads to a roof deck. A geothermal heating and cooling system – with a high-efficiency ground-source heat pump and heat-recovery ventilator – takes advantage of the earth’s constant 57º F temperature. The system’s excess energy pre-heats the domestic water heater.
Materials and finishes are low cost, low maintenance and low-embodied energy and have minimal environmental impact. The palette is further influenced by the clients’ collection of architect-designed industrial furniture and art. Energy Star appliances and low-flow plumbing fixtures are installed throughout.
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