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researcher &


Maya en Dan Szpakowsky

Maya en Dan Szpakowsky live since 45 years in the mountains above Mora, a village one hour drive from Santa Fe, New Mexico.


We met Maya and Dan at the post- office in Mora and they took us for a  30 minutes ride to their home into the mountains.  Maya is 77 and Dan 83.



Maya and Dan originally came from  California. Maya worked as a researcher on the University in Berkley and Dan was a teacher in visual arts.


End of the sixities they decided together with a couple of hippie friends to change their life completely and went to live in this area in the Rocky Mountains


The first years Maya and Dan lived with their 2 little boys in a tipi. After a few years most of their friends decided to go back to the civilized world. Maya and Dan and their family stayed.



The reason for Dan and Maya to change their tipi after a few years for a 'real' house were the harsh winters in New Mexico.

Icy cold, lots of snow and especially in the mountains it can be really bad.

Maya figured out how the new house should look like. She took her inspir- ation from the shape of the tipi, her know-

ledge of  the Indians and their books.


It had to be hexagon, as a tipi, the points come together in the rafters.This form also occurs frequently in nature and is known as a solid and stable construction

Part of the hexagonal house is built into the mountain. In that dark and cool part is also the pantry. Such a room is really necessary.


In winter there are months  when they can not go to the village. Through the snow and rough weather they are sometimes cut off from the outside world and is such a large stock an absolute must for survival










In the 45 years that they have been living on this hill Dan and Maya created a warm and personal world in a desolate place,

a cultured enclave in the wilderness.  Here you forget "the end of the world ' feeling

which evokes the nearby village Mora.


The rose garden, a greenhouse with vege- tables and their special home.


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