Sunday, June 26, 2011

Holy Mother Earthship!

While in Santa Fe, we took a side trip to Taos to see our daughter, Ashley.
She has an internship with Earthship Biotecture, a company just outside of Taos that builds radical homes out of recycled materials.

We were able to actually spend the night at an Earthship, which was quite an experience!
This one is called The Phoenix. Built and designed by the founder, Mike Reynolds, it is like stepping back in time to the 70's, or even like landing on another planet! It is also for sale.
Asking price? $1.5 million!

The architecture of this Earthship cannot be defined. Part art nouveau meets Mad Max, part space ship, part free radical art form in its design, make no mistake, this house is a very complicated structure.
Built out of tires, cans and bottles, as well as other recycled material, it is designed to live off the grid, using solar power and captured rainwater.

After our initial tour of The Phoenix, we settled in and explored the home's unique design, like the inside greenhouse where all kinds of food is grown, using filtered grey water.
Mr. A is either calling 911, or saying "Scotty, beam me up!"

The reason? This baby rattlesnake that found its way inside the greenhouse. I don't think he is part of the eco-system of flora and fauna here! Of course I over-reacted with blood curdling screams. Mr. A simply trapped him between the door and screen door.

Inside the greenhouse is a pond stocked with fish and turtles. We were told that tilapia live here and can be caught and eaten!

Just outside, a cute little bunny munched on the newly planted herbs.

Chickens provide fresh eggs every day. They even have their own Earthship chicken coop!

Inside the Phoenix, the artistic design continues to both inspire and amuse.
Me? As a designer, I wanted to redecorate! Although the kitchen is pretty cool.

Every surface inside this house is a creative art form, which is cool.
Nothing is "normal."

However sitting in the living room, I couldn't help wanting to give this room a new look!

The fireplace looks like an alien! I realize that was probably the point, but it was lost on me.
I could envision neutral walls, a more traditional style fireplace, Indian rugs and leather furniture.

At least there were many conversation areas.

Earthship Biotecture
As you can see, there isn't a clear line between living area and jungle!

The master bath with it's unique tub, making it like bathing in the jungle, complete with parrots! How exotic!

The interior walls have recycled colored bottles imbedded in them. When the sun shines through, it gives a beautiful stained glass effect.

Earthship Biotecture
There are actually two master bedrooms and baths in this home. This is the other master bath shower.

Earthship Biotecture
This is the master bedroom where we slept. The room is decorated in that retro 70's look that I have already lived through!
Love the ceiling though!

Out in the greenhouse, we sat with Ashley and her boyfriend and had drinks and hors d'hoeuvres. It was so good to see her and hear about her internship and everything that she is learning. They stayed for dinner, which she cooked, of course!

After dinner, we all sat around the fire pit and gazed at the stars. 7000 ft. above sea level, you can only imagine how many stars there were. Even a few shooting stars.
It was magical!

Here is the floor plan for The Phoenix. It is available as a nightly rental if you're interested in learning about this unique, completely sustainable home and the surrounding Earthship community.
For more information on Earthship Biotecture, visit their website here.

Yes, it was quite the adventure staying in The Phoenix, and one we will never forget!


  1. Except that it's New Mexico! Wow anyway. I mean WOW!!

  2. I seem to remembr seeing a TV programe that featured some of these homes, they're fabulous!

  3. that was great fun! we have talked about being off the grid, i would love a non home shape, but so not my husband... looks like you had a great trip~

  4. This is so cool! It must have been amazing. And you are perfectly correct - just because the building principles come from ethics developed in the 70's doesn't mean that one has to "relive" the 70's Time to update "green" and you're just the gal to do it. Don't know that they'd go for the leather, though :)

  5. Delores I must say, this is one of the strangest looking houses I have ever seen. Pretty inventive when you hthink how it is off the grid and has its own food sources. It does look like some sort of mother ship, Great title!! Kathysue

  6. I would not be able to sleep with that was scary. I kind of liked the outside of it and could see how this could all be done in a much more tasteful way. The garish colors would have to go. You can tell a man designed it.

  7. Delores, I like the concept of "living green" and leaving a small footprint on our earth. Reliving the '70s? Not so much.
    It sounds like you had a memorable weekend. :)

  8. o my goch .that is beautyfullplace.ihad necer seen before

  9. What a unique experience. Thanks for sharing it with us I very much enjoyed the visit.

  10. Oh Wow! What an amazing experience! I don't blame you for being freaked out about that rattler, baby or not! You were entitled girlfriend! I'm still looking around me hoping I don't see one. LOL. That's my reaction to them!
    But, wow, a hundred times...Wow! A totally rad experience!

  11. What a great post, thanks for the visuals. Hf,K

  12. I've seen some really 'out there' houses here in Oregon, but I think that one, takes the prize. I really appreciate the style and the green-ness of it, but I'm with you about the fireplace. It looked like something from a sci-fi movie and was not that inviting..haha.

    Wyatt's Mom

  13. Interesting tour. I agree, this is quite the place. I appreciate the imagination it took to put this together, however I don't think I want to own it. So glad you had a great visit. Hugs, Marty

  14. Wow, is right! How fascinating that you got to spend some time there. Interesting, but don't think I'd want to live there. Like you, I'd need to redecorate. LOL
    70s - been there done that! ~ Sarah

  15. Amazing! Your daughter must love having new experiences everyday with this company.

    I can see the decorator just thinking of all you could change. very cool though!

    Art by Karena

    I have a New, very fashionable Giveaway on my site! Come and enter!

  16. WOW... this is strange... I think I'd like to meet the designer of this house... it would be an interesting meeting :-) I think I like it!! the chicken coop... amazing! :-)

  17. I can imagine that is WAS quite an experience! I appreciate the IDEA, and the resourcefulness, but it isn't my cup of tea! A one night stay might be fun but that's it for me:) Thanks for sharing though, I sent this to my BIL. I know he will like it! XO, Pinky

  18. What a fantastic post and photos. Thanks for sharing this unique home.

  19. I just stumbled onto your blog. This house is amazing! I could live there minus the rattlesnakes! lol

  20. Only in Taos! Love it though.. except, like you, I'd die to redecorate.. still quite cool though.. thanks for sharing. many blessings, marlis

  21. Never seen anything like it. VERY INTERESTING! I could skip the rattlesnake! Where there is a baby there is a Mama!

  22. All posts that have snakes in them should carry a warning at the top. Now I can go and pick up the pieces of my laptop from across the room where it landed when I saw the snake.
    Just kidding.....but not by much.
    It looks like quite an experience. You may have nightmares about the decor for weeks to come. Serves you right for the snake picture.
    Okay, okay, I'll drop it.

  23. Absolutely amazing and interesting. What a concept! I can see why you would want to redecorate the living room. I bet it is a visit you'll never forget. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Very interesting. I grew up just over the border from this area in Colorado and have seen these buildings while heading home and have often wondered what the
    intererior looks like.

    Thanks for the tour!

  25. My husband and I are in the process of trying to buy a piece of land so that we can build an Earthship! We are so excited because I just think they are perfection when it comes to everything. What I love the most is just how sustainable they are. Great post! I found it via Twitter. Cheers to ya!


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