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Inside Su Casa

By Charles C. Poling

Photograph by Kirk Gittings

still alive and well

W

hile you could argue that all expressions of Southwest style architecture originally sprang forth from the mud that is adobe, we still consider it lucky to score an all-adobe lineup in Su Casa. So this issue, with its trio of homes spanning a wide range of adobe design, feels like an especially harmonious convergence of high style, forward-leaning sensibilities, green building, and well-planted roots. Die-hard mudheads preach that you can’t find a greener building material than adobe: dug straight from the ground, often from the very site where the home is to be built—at least in the old days—it boasts a small carbon footprint, low embodied energy, excellent thermal storage properties, and a reassuring coziness. Others, meanwhile, make the case for remodeling as an inherently green way to bring sustainability to housing. Reuse, repurpose, and recycle—that’s the essence of remodeling. Bring adobe and remodeling together, sketch it up with contemporary flair, incorporate green-building techniques and technologies, and you have designer-builder Michael Percy Grant’s modern adobe in Santa Fe, which he shares with his wife, Julia de Castro Grant. (See “Adobe outside the box,” page 48.) Michael transformed the once humble, huddling, and—OK, say it—“dumpy” old adobe they found several years ago into a sharp-lined, crisply dressed casa with an upstairs that feels like a big-city loft, but one that happens to feature unobstructed views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Across town, designer Tonia Prestupa has taken an older adobe in an entirely different direction. Without changing the home’s exterior face or footprint, Tonia form-fitted this 930-square-foot South Capitol bungalow to suit her evolving lifestyle as she went from single to married to one of a family of three. In “Three-part harmony” (page 32) Tonia shares with us her philosophy of living large in a small space made enchanting by exquisite interior design, putting an aesthetic emphasis on the second half of “lifestyle.” Outside Albuquerque in the friendly village of Corrales, homeowners Craig and Abigail Eaves worked with architect Michael Krupnick to strip a rambling, fundamentally appealing adobe of its 1980s anachronisms and awkward room layout. (See “Feels like home,” page 40.) The resulting form-follows-function beauty reveals a Zen essence at one with the grounding earthiness of adobe. These three lovely yet diverse adobe homes on our pages make it clear: Southwest style is alive and well in the 21st century. Less obvious is Su Casa’s change of ownership. In October, Bruce Adams, publisher of the Santa Fean Magazine, purchased Su Casa, bringing to the table his decades of publishing experience. We’re not planning drastic changes for Su Casa, just a continuing commitment to Southwestern homes, the people who make them homes instead of merely houses, and how they do it—in other words, your home.

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S U C A S A W i n t e r 2011

An entry alcove in the Eaves home harmonizes the old and the new, as does the house itself. A painting by Joshua Willis hangs on the wall. See “Feels like home,” page 40.

Su Casa Winter 2011  

Su Casa Winter 2011

Su Casa Winter 2011  

Su Casa Winter 2011