Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico
3,000 s.f. private residence
Architect: Jon Anderson
General Contractor: Sunbelt Properties
AIA Western Mountain Region Merit Award
AIA New Mexico Merit Award
AIA New Mexico Home Tour
Project Status: Built
Photographs by Kirk Gittings
This house for a family of five is located in Albuquerque's north valley. The one acre lot is part of a residential development on the banks of the Rio Grande River. The lot on the perimeter of the development was partially irrigated field and river bosque. The bosque portion is rich with vegetation and contains 35 year-old cottonwood trees which give it a very special quality. The irregular shape of the lot and the preservation of the existing trees dictated a tight buildable area.
The house straddles the line between the irrigated field and the bosque. It plugs into the existing cottonwood trees and captures views under the tree canopies. The glass corner of the living/dining area points to a distant view of Sandia Peak framed by the existing cottonwoods. The house radiates from around a large entry foyer that connects winter and summer outdoor patios, and leads to the children's wing and formal family living areas. The master bedroom suite is accessed via a wood stair with a steel rail that steps up the west wall of the living room to a cylindrical study. The kitchen has views up the river corridor and across to a children's play area. The cylinder that rises up from the center of the living room becomes a circular dining booth on the kitchen side and forms the study above.
The 3,300 square foot house ties the trees and fields together. Long masonry walls define vehicular and visitor circulation and anchor the forms of the house to the ground. The house opens to views and to outdoor living areas and integrates the inside with the outside. The stepping forms of the house are defined with four different, but traditional stucco colors that compliment the surrounding vegetation and recall elements of traditional New Mexican architecture.