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TEG Virtual Tour

Casa del Sol Construction Adobe Build On a beautiful little north valley lane in Albuquerque, there is work going on, and almost complete, on a spectacular adobe casa. The home is being built by master builder Mr. Danny Martinez of Casa del Sol Construction and is, as he says, his last commercial build which caps an illustrious career as a creator of livable, lovable homes. This build is a collaboration between Danny, his wife Renee Martinez, his daughter as architect, and the home’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bud Burns, and is the realization of their dreams and Danny’s belief in creating a living space that showcases those dreams.

What I will attempt to do in this virtual tour is give a visual look at the progress of the build along with some amount of description. This is a first for TEG tours and it may take some refinement to adequately portray the beauty and intensity of the effort going on with this build. To my eyes, it is a masterpiece of earthen construction, but it also is a defining creation of a builder who is capable of bringing forward the exemplary possibilities of what adobe offers and how it can be used to realize just how effective this material can be in meeting the modern demands of an energy efficient yet completely livable space. This first installment showcases the creation and construction progress. The second installment will (hopefully) focus on the finished home in all its glory.

The homeowner has graciously given his permission to TEG to print this story and to describe the various aspects of the build. We thank him and we especially thank Danny Martinez for his willingness to allow us to follow and record the progress of this build. It has been my pleasure and honor to be able to bring this to our TEG membership.

July 7, 2018: Foundation and stem wall built as work starts at the home. Photo courtesy of Helen Levine, Master Adobe Block maker and provider of all adobes used in this build.

September 29, 2018: Work has commenced on the wall and structural construction. The floors in most areas have been started and the layout is starting to emerge.

September 29, 2018: Plumbing and some electrical are being roughed in and the initial window and door lintels are being placed. Some of the “gringo” blocks used for securing window and door frames can be seen.

September 29, 2018: One of the key aesthetic elements in the early stages, the Kiva style built-in fireplace by Renee Martinez. That’s our Helen giving her blessings to this construction project.

December 7, 2019: Much progress has been made and the exterior walls, roof, parapets, bond beams and canales are in place.

December 7, 2019: Windows are being installed and exterior features such as columns and overhangs for the porch areas are taking shape.

January 18, 2020: The great room is progressing. The Kiva fireplace is the highlight feature, with its beautiful lines and flowing design. The view out of the large window showcases the Sandia mountains.

January 18, 2020: Danny’s intricate patterns and extraordinary craftsmanship are evident in this picture of the doors leading to the courtyard.

January 18, 2020: The courtyard porch coming off of the great room and the kitchen space. The exterior walls have the wire affixed in preparation for the first scratch coat of stucco.

April 11, 2020: The grand entrance. As taken from this aspect you can see into the great room with the massive picture window. The fireplace is just to the right of this window.

August 12, 2020: The grand room is nearly complete. The Kiva fireplace has been finished and the vigas carry the eyes towards the main picture window with its close-in view of the courtyard and its distant view of the Sandia mountains. The energy efficiency of in-floor radiant heating, with its especially beneficial interior quality of living, will be appreciated for years to come.

October 7, 2020: The powder room just off of the great room. The wall tiles, floor tiles, and the wall finishes all come together in an elegant and accessible manner.

October 7, 2020: The hardwood flooring is down and the late afternoon glow coming through the front door gives a warmth to this room that promises many years of enjoyment.

October 7, 2020: Patio pavers going down, scratch coat and base coat of stucco in place, patio doors ready for use. The use of exposed lintels throughout the home lends continuity and visual beauty.

October 7, 2020: Portions of the finish coat done with some of the base coat awaiting its turn. This is the courtyard view from the patio in the previous picture. This concludes the construction tour of the Danny Martinez constructed Burns Family adobe. I hope to be able to present another installment of this tour in the near future, with images of the completed structure showing the true beauty and grace of this grand home.

John Jordan – TEG Board Member

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