Completed Winter 2020
The Marfa Suite is a project born from a desire to build an addition that preserved and complemented an existing adobe home’s character and viewsheds while providing a private collection of rooms for a couple to seek refuge when family and friends visit.
The home exists within a 36’ square footprint with 16’ high, low-maintenance, concrete, and compressed earth block walls. The material palette takes inspiration from the landscape, the natural light of the high desert of far West Texas, the local vernacular adobe homes, and the poetic pragmatism that historic buildings possess in the region.
The siting responds to the property’s offerings by preserving the viewsheds from the main home toward the expansive valley and mountain ranges to the east and engaging with the established desert gardens in the cardinal directions.
The living and work lounge receives early morning light and opens towards the expansive view east across the horizon. In the evening, it’s a space to watch the reverse sunset as darkness envelops the gentle valley. Large sliders in the bedroom open toward the south sotol and vegetable garden. A window on the west frames a garden of cacti and mesquite against a lime plastered backdrop. The interplay of vegetation and light dances across the walls and into the spaces.
The bathroom opens east into a private outdoor showering garden. Greywater from the outdoor shower will enhance vegetative growth over time. The tub and shower are at the core of the bathroom space. The tub sits below a 6’ sq. window that opens south toward the garden.
Radiant floors heat the spaces. Windows and transoms harness the prevailing breezes for natural ventilation. Operable skylights allow for natural heat exhaust, and the skylight above the bed offers views of the region’s dramatic starry skies.
The home offers a lived experience that developed into spaces of calm respite and a place to engage with the landscape, work remotely, create art and enjoy time, space, and light where the expansive West Texas sky meets the promise of the horizon.
Cade Hayes - Project Architect
Jesus Robles - Design Architect
Cade Hayes - Project Management
Eric Martinez - Concrete, Masonry, Framing, Finishes
Dan P. Ray PE
Compressed Earth Block:
Adam Wayne and Dave Moshel - Arizona Adobe Company
© Casey Dunn
The New York Times Article August 2021