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Practical and wholesome, this house is at peace with both nature and the man-made environment. Two large earth berms serve as gates, shielding the house from the street and framing a grand entrance. They also provide an economical support for the solar panels that complement the passive solar design of the house. A gently terraced earth berm insulates the north-facing rooms and walls of the house, making it an integral, unobtrusive part of the landscape. Carefully planned cross-ventilation eliminates the need for air-conditioning. The combination of passive and active solar design slashes the house's heating requirements by 70% compared to those of a conventional design. Large windows face south to capture the sun's rays, and the thick walls of the house absorb and store heat. The house contains a large living room and dining area, studio/library, master bedroom, three smaller bedrooms, guest room, four baths, large custom kitchen, laundry room, wine cellar, and ample storage space. The living area, located between the parents' and children's quarters, offers privacy to both. The open layout of the rooms allows a flexible organization of the interior spaces. All rooms open onto an arcaded courtyard, which also functions as a graceful entrance court.


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