- Area : 1296 ft²
- Year : 2021
Photographs :Casey Dunn
Manufacturers : Ann Sacks, Arcadia Window and Doors, Fry Reglets, Mechoshades, Nippo Slimline, Nora Lolite, Toto Toilet, Vola Bath Fixtures
Builder : E&C Construction, Eric Martinez
- Millworks : Architectural Surfaces LLC
- City : Marfa
- Country : United States
Text description provided by the architects. The Marfa Suite is a detached addition to an existing single bedroom adobe home in Marfa, Texas. The suite is conceived as a lounge, art studio, and refuge for the owners to stay when guests visit the remote town for extended stays. The low-maintenance earthen structure is made primarily from compressed earth block that provides a warm atmosphere and is a direct nod to the historical vernacular adobe structures that exist along the US Mexico border, the greater North American Southwest region, and the owners existing home.
The project is inspired by the landscape and natural light of the high desert of far west Texas and from the local vernacular adobe structures, and the poetic pragmatism that historic buildings possess in the area. The project siting is a response to critical aspects of the property's characteristics and offerings; mostly the preservation of the viewsheds and established desert gardens. The suite is a single 36' square plan with 16' high perimeter walls.
A small vestibule offers a moment to kick off one's boots and provides a visually private entry from the main house. While small, this transition space provides sacred darkness and shadows to instill a sense of calm and transition upon entry. Once inside, all of the interior partition walls are the same compressed earth block material. Large sliders on the east connect the living and work lounge to the landscape beyond.
The living space receives early morning light and offers a place for the user to absorb the expansive West Texas sky and observe the magical light qualities of the area wash over the landscape and haystack mountains. An 18’ long solid oak desk with two working spaces shares a picturesque view of the Chihuahuan desert garden to the north. Sliding doors open on the south and connect the bedroom with the Sotol and vegetable gardens. A large window to the west offers intimately framed views of the cacti and mesquite garden and the plastered wall of the original home as a backdrop.
The bathroom is open and gracious while offering privacy and water isolation where needed. From the bathroom, a glazed door opens to the east and into a private outdoor showering garden. The shower garden extends south and connects to the lush green vegetable garden just outside of the tub and shower area to the south. Radiant floors heat the spaces, while all the doors and windows harness prevailing breezes and promote natural ventilation through the structure to help cool it.
Operable skylights allow for natural heat exhaust. The skylight above the bed is large enough to offer views of the region's dramatic starry skies. The suite has become a calm and comfortable series of spaces with unique light characteristics and moods for the owners to live and work.