The Minimalist Concrete 'Sharp House' Is a Striking Desert Retreat

A secluded New Mexico hideaway that runs on 100 percent solar power.
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Sharp EXTERIOR 1

This strikingly minimalist, solar-powered "Sharp House" is heating up the New Mexico desert on a parched landscape just north of Sante Fe.

Designed by architecture firm Marc Thorpe Design and built by ABConstruction, the eye-catching concrete abode was made for a retired couple from New York City on five acres of sun-baked land. 

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The house is primarily constructed of exposed cast-in-place concrete with large glass exposures to the north and south to allow for maximum solar gain and cross ventilation. 

Sharp EXTERIOR 2

The interior space fits two bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen, living areas and a bathroom across 2,000-square-feet. There's also an integrated ladder to offer the couple access to the roof for unobstructed dusk and night sky viewing.

Marc Thorpe Design explained their inspiration for building the unique desert residence:

The design intention of Sharp House was to maintain integrity with the materials and that all geometries within the architecture reflect the program of the house. The neo-brutalist approach to space is reflected as a by-product in the buildings appearance. 

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The house is a declaration against the gloss of mainstream architectural practice which tend to focus on the exterior “decorative” façades and arbitrary forms.

The Sharp House stands in contradiction to this it is a study of space, light and shadow, the essence of architectural experience.

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The stark desert hideaway is designed to be as ecologically conscious as possible, with large expanses of thermal mass regulating interior temperatures while naturally ventilating the home throughout the day. 

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It's also powered by monocrystalline solar panels rated at 220 watts, powering 100 percent of the energy required to keep the home humming, and all excess power is fed back into the grid. 

Seeing as it's both visually striking and environmentally sustainable, this back-to-basics residence could well be a blueprint for bespoke desert digs of the future.