Saturday, October 15, 2011


Last night was game night at a neighbor's house. She lives less than two miles from us straight line but a hill is between us. By road it is probably four miles to her house.

Our neighbor lives in a rammed earth house that she designed and built. The house is semi-circular and has ample south facing glazing to provide passive solar heat. The circular portion is built into a slope to provide insulation so a backup heating system is unnecessary. A solar array provides electricity, harvested rain water is piped into a cistern and hot water is provided by a solar collector. The only need for carbon based fuel is the small amount of propane required by the kitchen range. The house has a small second story with windows that provide passive ventilation on summer nights.

Bird on sandstone.

Bird on sandstone.

The house was designed with an earthy look that I like. Stone flooring and earthen plastered walls create a warm feeling. The windows sills are a mosaic of tile, earthen plaster and painted pottery shards that were collected on the property. Embedded in the plastered walls are random irregular pieces of sandstone that contain paintings of birds. Some are resting and some are in flight.



One of the things I like about the area in which we live is the variety. Each family or each person gives body to a dream using stone, logs, earth, straw bale or more traditional materials. Some houses cost a small fortune and some cost less than many new cars. There's something relaxing about this variety. There's not a look or style that has to be matched. Each of us has the opportunity to be ourselves and create our small paradise. In my opinion, this is as it should be.


Anonymous alex Pendragon said...


10/15/2011 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Sounds interesting. You have quite the reading list.

10/15/2011 07:26:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home