New house for Santa Fe ar­chi­tect

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALITY - By Paul Wei­de­man

THE HOUSE AR­CHI­TECT BEV­ER­LEY SPEARS DE­SIGNED for her­self and her hus­band, Philip Crump, has not won any for­mal ac­co­lades yet, be­cause it’s brand new. But there’s no doubt it will be an award-win­ner. The res­i­dence is a sin­gu­lar ex­am­ple of con­tem­po­rized Santa Fe Style, broadly speak­ing, but it boasts a dom­i­nant fea­ture that re­lates more to Rome, Morocco, and Mex­ico: the bar­rel vault.

“I just like them,” Spears said dur­ing a house visit in late Novem­ber. “We go to Mex­ico a lot and many of those 16th-cen­tury churches are just a sim­ple bar­rel vault.”

There are two bar­rel vaults, off­set. The main one is over the living room-dining room-kitchen space and is fin­ished in­side with thin slats of slightly whitened, clear pine. This sec­tion of the house is on a crawl space and the floors are light oak by R.L. Marek & Co., Al­bu­querque. (The cou­ple’s col­or­ful tex­tiles and paint­ings— some by Spears— prom­ise to con­trast nicely with the pale woods and walls.) The eastern half of the house, which holds the mas­ter suite, is slab-on-grade and the floors are in­te­grated-color con­crete by Scott Golden, Golden-Seibert Co., Santa Fe.

The long south face of the house is well-glazed to tap the sun’s heat en­ergy in the win­ter­time, and at its base is a long, con­crete trough pool and foun­tain. In­side the great room, the sun­light re­flect­ing off the wa­ter cre­ates a long, shim­mer­ing pat­tern that moves dur­ing the day across the walls and the vault ceil­ing. “When there’s very lit­tle wind, it gets very calm; it’s al­most hyp­notic,” Spears said.

“The pas­sive so­lar is work­ing great. The ori­en­ta­tion is the op­ti­mum for so­lar, which is 10 de­grees east of south. We have hy­dronic so­lar for hot wa­ter which helps to heat the house, too, be­cause it’s a Life Breath [hy­dronic] fur­nace.”

The ar­chi­tect made a lit­tle two-chair nook, part of which is all glass and projects out be­yond the plane of the south wall, im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to the pool. “That’s a great place to sit in thewin­ter and just soak up the sun.”

The house was built by Tierra Con­cept, Inc. Kurt Faust, one of the com­pany’s prin­ci­pals, said it was a very in­ter­est­ing project. “It was a chal­lenge, as it al­ways is mix­ing steel and wood and fig­ur­ing how things fas­ten to each other. We were us­ing wooden I-joists in a way Bev­er­ley has done be­fore, but the man­u­fac­turer said ‘Whaaat?’

“Prob­a­bly the most chal­leng­ing part was the skin on the bot­tom of the bar­rels, where we stretched fab­ric that had to be hid­den be­hind the slats. The fab­ric was there to give a sur­face be­yond the wood slats that was ho­moge­nous. It stretches the whole length of the room; that vault is 40 feet long, while the mas­ter-suite bar­rel vault is 30 feet. The slats are also for sound dis­per­sion be­cause a bar­rel-vaulted ceil­ing will fo­cus sound.”

Spears, who had only been in the house for two months when I vis­ited, em­pha­sized that the house was fin­ished, but that the fur­nish­ing and land­scap­ing were not. She had been wa­ter­ing na­tive piñons and had added pon­derosa pines and crabap­ple trees. She was look­ing for­ward to in­dulging her great love for plants in designing and plant­ing her gar­den, work­ing with the nat­u­ral land­scape around the house.

She was glad the con­struc­tion project was com­plete. “I re­ally didn’t have fun do­ing this, al­ways think­ing I should have done that or if I do this it means I have to do that. It was so dif­fer­ent do­ing it for my­self. For clients, I just tell them what I think and they ac­cept it or not. Now, I see mis­takes I made, what­ever, but all in all I like it very much and it’s very liv­able and Philip likes it.”

The Spears kitchen. Be­low, the ar­chi­tect on the roof with her vaults. Op­po­site, the south el­e­va­tion with foun­tain and pool.

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