From the architects:
Structure: The perimeter walls are load bearing masonry with conventional spread footings. The roof structure is steel beams and tubes with a galvanized steel roof deck. The ceiling over the bedrooms is conventional wood framing as are the interior walls.
Major Materials and Systems: All exterior walls are reinforced concrete block with a honed face. All empty cells are foam filled and the block is furred-out on the inside and insulated with batt insulation. The roof deck is acoustic galvanized steel deck with a high efficiency rigid insulation system and standing seam galvalume roof. The steel roof structure and columns at the glass face are painted with black epoxy paint. All connections were field welded to eliminate bolts and plate interference with the glazing systems. The large glass areas are built from storefront components with a black anodized finish and 1” solorban 60 glass units. The floor is a concrete slab with saw-cut joints and a dyed finish. Heating is under floor radiant zoned to take advantage of the solar gain. The roof over hang is based on solstice angles to limit gain in the summer and maximize gain in the winter. The house has a forced air cooling system along with passive ventilation.
Site Features: The one acre site boarders the North property line of the 160 acre Rio Grande Nature Center, a major wildfowl habitat within the Albuquerque city limits. On the West, the site boarders the Rio Grande river corridor. The site has several mature cottonwood trees which were once part of the Rio Grande Bosque. The land to the North and East were part of a large land holding by the Padillia family that historically was flood irrigated farm land. The house was sited in the middle of the existing cottonwoods with the entire South wall opening to the sun and the views of the Nature Center land. A lap swimming pool and outdoor living areas are also on this South side and are designed to maximize the seasonal use.
Concept: This house rests on a site bordering the 160 acre Rio Grande Nature Center to the south and the Rio Grande River corridor to the West. The wildfowl habitat is on a major migratory flyway hosting snow geese, sand hill cranes and the occasional endangered whooping crane. Designed to maximize views of the bird habitat and to take advantage of solar exposure and passive ventilation, the design hosts simple sustainable materials and the thoughtful use of glass blends the indoor and outdoor living spaces. The major living areas align the Southern exposure and view windows. Overhangs protect these areas from the high summer sun but exploit the low winter sun for passive heat gain. The house sits below the ancient cottonwoods with distant views of the Sandia mountain range to the East, the Rio Grande Bosque to the West and abundant migratory wildfowl to the South.
Design Team: Jon Anderson AIA Architect, Jarrod Arellano AIA Project Manager
Builder: John Blueher, Blueher Abodes
Interior Design: Janis La Fountain
Photos: Kirk Gittings Photography