Arkin Tilt Architects incorporate eight thousand Sweetwater Watershed Block into a sustainable residence in Sonoma County, California. The Sweetwater Watershed Block combines crushed minerals from two nearby sources - rhyolitic fines from Nun’s Canyon Quarry in the Mayacamas Mountains and crushed basalt from Mark West Springs, west of Calistoga. The sunrise hue of the Sweetwater Block surfaces as the warm, almost peach color of the Nun’s Canyon fines overpowers the gray basalt from Mark West Springs. Steel plates burnish the face of the block during the high compression manufacturing. Image © Ed Caldwell.
Varying the ratio between the two regionally sourced aggregates in the Sweetwater Watershed Block formulation during the block manufacturing run results in the “random mottling” that gives the walls their natural appearance. The Sweetwater Watershed Block sits high among our most sustainable offerings - increased proportions of post-industrial recycled content and reduced cement offers a gorgeous block with an optimized sustainability profile. The architects wisely use the block to encase the wood stove to serve as a heat sink - a thermal flywheel. Image © Ed Caldwell.
The Sweetwater Watershed Block walls in this sustainable private residence by Arkin Tilt Architects curve ever-so-slightly along the entry drive and up to the compound. The block walls serve to retain the hillside. The six-inch high blocks, sixteen inches in length, provide an optimum “rise over run” for a gradual ascent. The retaining wall caps are cast using the same formula as the blocks themselves. Image © Ed Caldwell