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UNLV Libraries Main Page -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections -> Las Vegas Architects and Buildings Database -> Projects

Colton Residence

Photos & Links: (Web Page 1)
Reno, NV
Completed: 2004
  • studio a/d (Architect, Interior Designer, and Landscape Architect)
Contractors: General Contractor: Bigotti Bros.
Structural Engineer: Forbes - Dunagan
Architectural Elements: Landscape * Re-vegetation of native plant regimes at site perimeter * Use of primarily xeric plant regimes * Concentration of higher water use turf areas in smaller, useful areas adjacent to main living areas * Use of landscape berming to mitigate constant winds, as well as to foreground views and provide privacy * Rainwater harvesting cisterns fashioned from re-purposed sewer-component ‘seconds’ re-distribute rainfall to irrigate xeric landscaping * Earth-sheltered northern exposures Site Planning * Orientation o Primary axis of building is oriented 15 degrees east of south to provide a much needed kick-start to the passive heating cycle on cold winter days * Site zoning More frequently used outdoor areas are located on the leeward side of the structure and/or beams from the wind (which is a constant nuisance) * Tensile shade structure over outdoor living room, on the northern, leeward side of the structure, is removable to welcome heat gain on cooler days, and provides shelter from the winds and elements on marginal days effectively extending the outdoor season Planning/Formal Vocabulary * Convective chimney with strategically placed vents and an air-to-air energy recovery ventilator is located centrally in the open plan for effective passive ventilation * Private spaces are distributed into distinct zones to allow for transitory use and efficient mechanical zoning, while extending them into the site for maximum daylighting and ventilation benefits * Deep, overhanging southern loggias with light-colored ‘Smart Roof’ membrane roofing protect heavy thermal mass pavers from excessive solar heat gain during summer months * Heavy thermal mass pavers collect and re-radiate heat from low azimuth winter sunlight * Rainwater-harvesting roofs, rake walls, rain chains, and underground irrigation cisterns * Fenestration design -deep crenellations and overhangs protect the large amounts of glass from excessive summer heat gain while allowing carefully modulated natural light deep into the interiors -strategically located fins, a trellised loggia, and ‘eyebrows’ protect glazing from the sweeping western sun
Description: he site is a rural pasture with restrictive design guidelines imposed by the neighboring developer’s residence. Any landscape over eight feet tall was prohibited to preserve a view corridor. Prevailing winds are from the south, consistently coming from the Sierra foothills. Views are south to the Sierras.

The site strategy transforms the formerly unprotected and exposed pasture into a protective, private residential landscape of berms and sunken living areas.

Rainwater harvesting roofs, rake walls, rain chains, and cisterns collect and store water that irrigates the xeric and revegetated natural landscape. Passive ventilation, daylighting and fenestration strategies are employed to deal with the high desert extremes of cold winters, hot summers, wide diurnal temperature swings, and persistent winds.

The design seeks to create spaces and forms that capitalize on a very limited budget through the use of simple details and methods. The principal gestures of raking walls, central convective chimney, and roofs symbolize their functional attributes, while providing a dynamic silhouette that points to the southern sky and Sierras.
Extra Note: AIA Nevada Design Awards (2007) Entry No. B07026, Submission.
UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Form Core Boards, Project Identification Form, Photo Release Form, Intern Compensation Disclaimer Form, Project Entry Form, Exteriors Photos, Site Plan, Floor Plans, Interior Photos and CD