Shedding Light on Immense Beauty of the Most Basic, Ordinary and Traditional
From native agricultural cultures, to nomadic hunter-gatherers, to conquistadors and missionaries, to pioneers, miners, cattle, and cowboys, to militia, migrants, and narcotraficantes, this region is the landscape and folklore of the quintessential Wild West. It is this history and context that Casa Caldera grows from.
This 945 sq.ft shelter sits on Canelo Hills at just under 500 ft. ASL in Southern Arizona’s San Rafael Valley, 15 miles north of the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Poured lavacrete is deliberately used as the primary construction material for its subtle contrast to the surrounding grasses and is considered a new vernacular material by the locals. Similarly anchored on the vernacular, the concept of Zaguan is applied in its spatial planning, where the covered living and sleeping space are connected to the external landscape with large folding doors that can be fully opened at both its eastern and western end.
Natural daylight and fresh breezes from across the mountains are harnessed to moderate temperatures of the living spaces within. Wood burning stove and fireplace are provided to keep warm through winters, and an existing well provides water for the house. Casa Caldera is entirely off grid, powered by a small solar system and propane gas for basic lighting, water heating, cooking and refrigeration.
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