Solstice House, Placitas New Mexico

Aligned with the solstice sunrise and sunset azimuth angles the Solstice House is designed to respond to its high desert climate, shading its occupants in the summer and welcoming in the warming winter sun. This passive solar residence is built with 'Rastra' insulated concrete walls and structurally insulated roof panels making it very energy efficient . Taking advantage of its high desert climate the home is organized around a central courtyard with roof top terraces to take advantage of views down Las Huertas Creek. A double set of french doors opens the living room to the courtyard expanding the living space outdoors. Sheltered by the two wings of the house the courtyard is protected by winter winds and provides shading in the summer. Oriented to the southern sun the courtyard is warm and comfortable in the winter and cool and pleasent in the summer complete with its solar fountain. The courtyard pavers slope to a central cistern that is filled by rainwater. The self regulating fountain is tied to a remote solar panel and can be truned on or off as desired. The single fountain nozzle is flush with pavers and invisble when trunned off.

-featured on 'Home & Garden TV "Beyond the Box" Creative houses built by architects on a budget.' 2009