company logo 4a
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Monthly Newsletter
March 2015
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: A Santa Fe, NM Residence

Architectural Firm of the Month: Charles Ash, Architect

Helpful Links for Architects

Join Our Mailing List!


Need Samples? Visit our Sample Request page.

Devonian Stone paving stones Welcome to the March issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with interesting and informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If there is a project you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact us and tell us about it! Your project could be featured in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter. To learn more about our "high-end" cut-to-size Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products, please click here to visit our website.

I have been living in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the past 30 years. In addition to my artwork, I am a practicing Architect with my firm Allied Arts. I studied architecture at the University of Arizona; a curriculum that heavily emphasized sketching, drawing and presenting ideas in an expressive manner. During my studies I was introduced to watercolors which have become a lifelong pursuit and pleasure.

I love working quickly with the paint, looking for the spontaneity and the "happy accidents" that occur with a rough watercolor paper. My watercolors range from landscapes that expresses the beauty and quiet enjoyment of the Southwest to figurative works that express a dynamic quality; using the figure as an opportunity to introduce color and motion. The lack of faces in my figurative pieces has developed into a signature feature of my work. In each approach I rely on the quality of light and shadow to give a bold quality to my work.

For more information visit:

This classic Santa Fe, New Mexico style residence was designed by architect Charles Ash, who is also an artist. Ash was inspired by the adobe architecture of the pueblos with its warm tones and palette of smooth plaster, stone and wood.


The 4,356 square foot home has three bedrooms, three baths, a study, a Great Room, a kitchen and a den. Every bit of space within and outside of the house embodies the Santa Fe style with its beautifully layered details, soft, rounded forms and natural materials. Not all of Ash's designs are in this style. He explains, "It depends on the circumstances and the client's wishes. In this case, the classic Santa Fe style is what was needed."


There is a central courtyard with a front entrance that leads directly into the main living space, or the Great Room. The almost u-shaped floor plan was developed to fit an unusually shaped parcel of land, but Ash used this to the home's advantage. Ash explains, "The plan is not the typical pueblo style. The curved Great Room came about the from my client's wish to see the spectacular views of the Sangre De Cristo mountains from every room and to fit a very difficult lot."


In the Great Room there is a uniquely shaped fireplace that has a flagstone mantel and polished gypsum plaster. Within the floor-to-ceiling structure that houses the fireplace, there is a space directly to the left that holds a t.v./media cabinet. The fireplace divides the dining area from the living room area, and adds aesthetic value and functionality as well.


There are several fireplaces throughout the house, including the kitchen which has a kiva fireplace, which is a small beehive-shaped fireplace that is common to southwestern design.


The master bedroom has a fireplace with a banco, which is an adobe bench covered in plaster. A lighted sculpture nicho, or nook in the wall, is above the fireplace and above that is a latilla ceiling and clerestory windows that gently bring light into the space. Vigas, or round wooden beams run across the ceiling. There is a stone floor and French doors that lead out to a private portal. The plaster walls in the master bedroom, and throughout the house, are the soft orange/peach color of adobe and bring so much warmth to the home, complementing the softness of the rounded forms in every room.


Wood is one of the main materials used in this home. Ash explained, "The rectangular beams are hem fir, the vigas (round beams) are ponderosa pine, the exposed decking at the ceiling is aspen and fir, and the exposed lintels are fir."


Referring to architectural elements in Santa Fe, NM almost requires one to learn a new vocabulary, with words like banco, nicho and vigas, but the words symbolize the strong connection between the architecture and the location with its distinctive landscape, climate and incredibly rich history.


Ash is a watercolor artist who has been living in Santa Fe for the past thirty years. He explains, "My watercolors range from landscapes that express the beauty and quiet enjoyment of the Southwest to figurative works that express a dynamic quality."


When asked how being an artist affects or enhances his work as an architect, Ash answered, "I allow myself to look at each project through painter's eyes while keeping in mind the function.This project was the most like my architectural watercolors, exaggerating the curves, forms and massing, using a color palette of natural materials. I enjoy this kind of design when appropriate, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time However, the materials, style and details in this residence are drawn from my watercolors."

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN)

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects, is committed to the promotion of all residential architecture based on architectural content irrespective of style. For more information visit:

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit:


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit:


Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit:

The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.





Liz Benton, Editor
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

Copyright Devonian Stone of New York, Inc. 2014. All Rights Reserved. Content may not be copied or reproduced in any way without the written consent of Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.