550 Mountain View Drive,
near La Veta, Colorado
3,058 SQFT
Beyond Green


Build a home that can arise from the earth for a hundred years time and then return to the earth. Utilize the highest possible quality levels, sustainable materials, local craftsman, and minimal environmental impact

Design Goals:

“Our client’s had laid out a profoundly conscious and articulate view of just how they wanted to live their years beyond work and the hustle of life in the 21st century. At every level of consideration, many far beyond the material, they provided us with inspiration for just how amazing this home could be. And, they understood the very dramatic « wildness » of their chosen site.

It was clear from the very first experience on the site, that this would be an example of « place » telling its aspiring co-creators just exactly what it wants. While integrating all the owner’s vision and desires, this home was designed by the very nature of the ridge from which it grew; organically, from the earth and stone of the High Desert it inhabits.” Finn Jorgensen design architect

The form was dictated by the natural conditions of its 7,200′ elevation surrounded by the 14,000′ peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, Greenhorn, Blanca Peak, and the magnificent and sacred Spanish Peaks, the world’s smallest high-mountain range.

In the spring and late fall, the winds blow over the mountains and ridges. The curvilinear form of the house and roof planes sloping down with the ridge allows the wind to « slide » around and over the house. The continuously curved walls provide wind-less sanctuaries, regardless of which the direction the wind is blowing. The articulation of the exterior walls of glass provides a visual experience of the home in the setting of the natural landscape and stunning views.

Taking cues from the ancient Southwest vernacular and Ancestral Puebloans mesa and cliff dwellings of the area, the curvilinear forms are punctuated with 56-massive 5-10 ton boulders that form outcroppings and natural features that bring the massive surrounding mountains into the home. A small rock-lined « rill » honoring the precious mountain water that courses through the high desert valley floors runs through the entry floor.

The home sits on a ridge with a 360 degree view. From every angle on the site there are sweeping views. In order to capture the expanses from each space, the design emerged without a single straight line. It is made up of a series of nested cylinders of various diameters and heights, creating a dramatic monumental, yet intimate, interior living environment.

Standing in front of curved walls of glass in every space, you are surrounded by the magnificent sunrises and sunsets, and the occasional dramatic thunderstorms charging across the immense sky. With sweeping views, you feel as though you can reach out and touch the high desert, the even higher mountains and to the east, the vast expanse of the Great Plains.

The owners wanted to build a home, made of the earth that would one day melt back into the earth. At well over 1,000,000 lb. home is likely to last for a hundreds of year. Its mass is made up of 24,000 compressed earth adobe blocks made from the earth directly below the building, anchored by sandstone boulders brought from the foot of the local Spanish Peaks.

Using earth, stone, steel, timber and glass, the home is a unique expression of elegant crafted naturalness. All materials inside and out are raw, natural, elemental, handmade with precision and attention to quality and detail, at every intersection.

The property was constructed at every level with a philosophy of « Beyond green« . « Brown » would be the more appropriate description of what informs every cubic inch of its magic and integrity………….

And……..last but not least……..the home is imbued with a vibrating, pulsing, living energy; the result of the place telling us so clearly and beautifully what it wanted…………we think that this « place » agrees……….

Design goals:

  • Highest possible environmental standards
  • Natural materials, earth, wood, rocks, water
  • Integrated with the surrounding area
  • Open, curvi-linear structure
  • Low lying, connected to the earth
  • Tranquil, peaceful, serene
Basic Details
  • Property TypeResidential
  • Sub-TypeSingle Family
  • Year Built2015
  • Living Area3058 sq.ft.
  • No. of Floors1
  • Water AccessWell
  • ConceptionArchitect Designed
  • Lot Size48 acres
  • Heated GarageYes
  • Garage Capacity2/3
  • Parking Capacity10+
  • TechnologyInternet & Sound wired
  • Thermal MassVery High
  • Type of constructionHighest quality
Construction Materials:
Compressed earth bricks, sustainably harvested timber, natural sandstone rocks
Environmentally sound
Open Floor Plan
Curvi-Linear Structure
Heated Floors
Ultra Low Maintenance Construction
Vast Mountain Views
Peace & Tranquility
Abundant Wildlife
Green Living Roof Ready
Close to vibrant artist community
Fabulous Mountain Sunsets
Local organic farmers market
Owner and Conceptor
+1 (415) 226-8091

Constructions photos

Concrete Floors



Soy Foam



Many more photo’s available

Natural Living :
Celebrate Naturalness

A place that is connected to the earth, without boundaries, where energy and light flow freely.
The home features extraordinary architecture surrounded by stunning mountain views, with a great natural design that conveys a sense of visual energy and stirs the imagination. Located on a breathtaking 48-acre parcel in the Spanish Peaks, with captivating, unblemished views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The environment is one of peace and tranquility.
Constructed around 56 boulders, designed to capture the morning sun’s energy through expansive (low U value) easterly windows and later view magical sunsets behind Silver and Sheep Mountains, through the (high U value) west side windows. At night, the rooms are transformed by the romantic glow from the huge natural rock fireplace and the thousands of stars from the pure and unpolluted Colorado night sky.
The open design provides different emotional zones. In harmony with the natural design, the home has no straight walls, being all curvi-linear. The huge thermal mass of the natural bricks and boulders creates a stable internal environment, which leverages the energy of the sunlight and acts as a natural heat store. The underfloor, walls and roof all exceed the required R value insulation standards.

The location has an ideal combination of wildlife habitat, in a very private setting, with abundant pronghorn, white tailed deer, elk, bobcats and soaring raptors.
This high desert home enjoys a 4 season lifestyle. A unique natural property in a very private, secure and pristine setting that provides Colorado living at its best.

24,000 Compressed earth bricks
56 Sandstone boulders
1,000,000 Thermal mass / lbs
48 Acres Area
Special Roof Sustainably harvested logs
Insulation Insulation soy foam
Eco-friendly ~ Zero Light Pollution
Maintenance ~ Zero typical annual maintenance costs
La Veta Lifestyle

« The property is close to the picturesque town of La Veta, just 11 miles away. La Veta is a hidden jewel in Colorado. A town of just 1,000 people, it has a thriving artist community, restaurants, farmers market, and many cultural events throughout the year. In addition there opportunities for cycling, hunting, fishing, skiing, boating, climbing and hiking. Day trips opportunities include the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs and Denver »

Spanish Peaks Intern. Celtic Festival September 20-23, 2018 ----------------------------------- www.http://celticmusicfest.com/
Spanish Peaks Arts Council Art in the Park ------------------------------------------ www.spanishpeaksarts.org
LVSA The La Veta School of Arts ------------------------------------- www.thelvsa.org/
The La Veta Gallery Museum ------------------------------------- www.lavetagalleryonmain.com
Francisco Fort Museum Historic Huerfano County --------------------------------------------- www.museumtrail.org/francisco-fort-museum.htm
Kathy Hill's Artists gallery --------------------------------------------- www.kathywhill.com
Sid's High Country BBQ & Grill ----------------------------
Aly's ----------------------------- www.alysrestaurant.com
Deerprint ----------------------------- www.deerprint.com
Paradise Café ----------------------------- www.paradisecoffeelaveta.com
La Veta Trails --------------------------------- www.lavetatrails.org
Cycling ---------------------------------- www.spcycling.org
Skiing ---------------------------------- www.wolfcreekski.com
Red River Ski Area ---------------------------------- www.redriverskiarea.com
Taos Ski Valley ---------------------------------- www.skitaos.com
Aerial Tour
Floor Plans

The property features include:

  • Finn Jorgensen design architect
  • All interior solid 7’ 6’’wooden doors, handcrafted by Finn Jorgensen
  • Stained concrete floors throughout
  • 12 to 25 feet vaulted ceilings, with sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Natural plaster internal walls, zero VOC
  • Multiple control, dimmable LED lighting throughout
  • Truth wall showing the un-plastered compressed earth blocks
  • Large 8’ high glass windows with view of the Silver, Big Sheep & Little Sheep mountains & huge magmatic dykes
  • Tree of Life metallic art above the fire Great Room fireplace
  • Custom arched way from the hallway into the master suite
  • Artisan custom built cabinetry throughout
  • Radiant in-floor heating; each room has its own temperature control
  • Wood pellet-burning kitchen stove with automatic starter
  • Integrated sound systems in Great Room, two bedrooms and to west deck

Property Grounds and External Features

  • Exquisite and unblemished views of the Silver Mountain, the Sheep Mountain range and the Spanish Peaks. In addition the west side of the home including the deck enjoys wonderful views of the huge magmatic dykes that radiate from Silver Mountain
  • Abundant native landscape; acres of healthy groves of pinion pines, (providing edible pine nuts)
  • Expansive wrap-around stone patios with uninterrupted and expansive mountain views
  • 1500-gallon buried cistern for well water/water storage
  • Large circular drive with parking for 10+ cars


  • Approached via a large sandstone deck
  • Double custom glass & wood doors at entry by Finn & Yul Jorgensen
  • Entering into the Great Room

Great Room

  • Large circular room filled with natural light
  • 20-25 feet high ceilings, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Wall-to-wall windows opposite overlook Silver Mountain with sweeping mountain views
  • Massive artisan built wood-burning Rumford fireplace (6’) with sandstone hearth housed in dry-stack sandstone boulder wall
  • Large natural boulders including a bubbling waterfall that trickles into a small rill and flows across the floor to a small pool
  • Integrated surround sound system network
  • Multiple walkout doors to expansive west decks

Dining Room

  • 14-16 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Wall-to-wall windows with sweeping mountain views
  • 12’ dining table easily seats 12 people, with antique style chairs
  • Door to expansive west decks

Gourmet Chef’s Kitchen

  • 16-18 feet high ceilings, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Custom wooden cabinets
  • Stainless steel front appliances
  • GE side-by-side cabinet depth fridge and freezer
  • GE dishwasher
  • 4-ring ceramic GE electric stove with warming plate and 2 ovens – conventional and convection
  • Butcher block counters with double stainless steel sink and chrome fixtures; beautiful eastern horizon views out of large windows over sink for the sunrise
  • Custom curvi-linear center island of butcher block with 3 bar stools and custom light fixture over
  • Custom banquette with comfy cushions and table for informal dining overlooking east deck; great for morning coffee

Master Bedroom & Bathroom suite

  • Beautiful south and west facing suite, overlooking the walled garden
  • 14-18 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Stunning views to Spanish Peaks, Silver and Sheep mountains through wall-to-wall windows
  • Heated floors
  • Walk in closet
  • Door to expansive west decks


Archway to master suite bathroom:

  • 12 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Stone petrified wood sink with chrome fixtures; custom stone counter
  • Cascade waterfall shower over 6 foot stone boulder
  • Hand held shower head
  • Heated shower floor and hand crafted stone mosaic walls
  • Heated towel rack
  • Door to expansive west decks
  • Sweeping south and west mountain views
  • Low flush toilet

Guest Bedroom 1 / Studio

  • Beautiful studio with ideal light for painting and other art activities
  • 12-16 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Multiple windows provide lovely mountain views to the west and north
  • Large closet with shelving and hanging space
  • Door to west deck
  • Sweeping north and west mountain views

Guest Bedroom 2 / Study

  • Quiet bedroom or study, that has its own private zen garden
  • 12-16 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested latillas & vigas
  • Large closet with shelving and hanging space

Door to private Zen garden

 Zen garden

  • Pea gravel private garden for peaceful seclusion, daytime shade and late afternoon sunshine
  • Panoramic views of Big Sheep Mountain, Little Sheep Mountain and the Sangre de Christo range

Guest Bathroom

  • Hand crafted stone counter and wall mosaic bathroom with views to the distant northern mountain range
  • 12-14 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested latillas & vigas
  • Rainfall shower
  • Handheld shower
  • Natural boulder bench
  • Floor to ceiling windows with Zen garden views
  • Large closet with storage shelving

Office / exercise room

  • Sun filled southerly facing office with views of the Spanish Peaks
  • 14 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas

 Mud Room and 2/3-Car Garage

  • 14 feet high ceiling, sustainably harvested vigas & latillas
  • Mud room is large with hanging hooks and storage
  • Deep utility sink has hot and cold running water
  • Full sized front loading stacked washer and dryer
  • Sitting area with antique bench seat
  • Opens to garage so easy to load and unload shopping and suitcases
  • Solid custom wooden door opens to 2/3 car, heated garage with:
  • Deep double free standing utility sink
  • Concrete heated floor
  • Hot water tanks and electric Steffes furnace/boiler
  • Manifolds for radiant heating
  • Door to east deck

 Sacred knoll

Two large boulders, placed on a natural knoll, close to the west side of the house, create a sacred place for meditation. The rocks overlook the valley and mountain range opposite. This peaceful setting also provides a place for quiet reflection and the opportunity to observe the wildlife, including eagles, elk and bob cats.


To the south of the home, outside the Master Suite is a walled garden, complete with built in bench; to the north is an area suitable for more extensive vegetable gardens, chicken coop and greenhouse

Close to the property is a sheltered valley of 2+ acres, which would be ideal to grow crops or plant a fruit orchard, as water could easily be run downhill to the plot.

A few hundred yards from the house, is an area suitable for an external casita or stables.

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