Sketch of living space with built in cabinetry and benches around large
south window.

1997- 1998
Colorado, USA

This tiny solar-powered house was designed and built for a woman and her horse. The second floor is an open kitchen, dining and living space. A sleeping loft of recycled and narrowly spaced douglas fir slats creates a canopy over the dining table/woodstove - a massive, cast-in-place, concrete element which stores passive solar heat and heat radiated from the wood stove which is tucked underneath. The truncated roof peak is capped along its entire length by a wide glass strip. The immense and ever-changing southwest sky pours through this gap into the main space. The first floor contains a bedroom, a bath and a utility space. A Dutch door, made from recycled 1" by 2" fir (which we also used to make the floor and window sashes and frames) leads to the stall two steps down. With the exception of the narrow entry corridor, which was built of granite gathered from on the site, the entire house was clad with local, untreated, green (recently milled) pine boards. The boards are spaced for ventilation and set out from the building on battens, creating a wide air space buffering the building against extreme heat and cold. A set of three inch screws every two feet fasten the boards through the battens into the sheathing, effectively creating a double shear wall which protects the little house against frequent hurricane-force winds. Sited at the edge of a meadow, the main living space, stone entry and horse stall all open to the south. A large granite outcropping protects the house from harsh northern weather.