Albuquerque, New Mexico
4,200 s.f. private residence
Architect: Jon Anderson
Sam Sterling, JAA
Brett Oaks, JAA
General Contractor: Sunbelt Properties
AIA Western Mountain Region Honor Award
AIA New Mexico Merit Award
AIA New Mexico Home Tour
Project Status: Built
Photographs by Kirk Gittings & Jon Anderson
This house in Albuquerque's north valley is for a couple who own a prominent custom-home building business. The owners commissioned Jon Anderson to design their own house after building three other Jon Anderson designed custom houses. They wanted a house that explored the indigenous tradition of simple masonry forms and utilized bold color to define and differentiate these forms.
The 4,000 square foot house sits in a flood-irrigated pasture with several existing apple trees and a huge cottonwood tree. The house faces east capturing the morning light and views of the Sandia mountains. An intense pink wall, ten feet high, greets visitors and directs them along a linear fountain lined with cobalt blue tile to the glass entry. The front door is flanked on the opposite side by a purple masonry grid that supports a steel trellis that is reminiscent of viga and latilla construction in the historic pueblo style. The entry is continuous with a large dining area which features a cast-in-place concrete table that seats fourteen. The pink entry wall continues through the house, defining the south side of the dining area. The north side is a masonry fireplace mass rendered in a brilliant yellow. Floor-to-ceiling glass defines both ends of this space, framing views to the east and sheltered views to the west. The living room shares the pink wall on one side and a masonry fireplace on the other side. The fireplace has a cast-in-place concrete hearth with a glass block grid on either side.
An intimate courtyard sits at the west end of the house dominated by the tiled fountain which marks the entry and continues through the house as a vibrant blue tile stripe. The simple stucco shapes and brilliant colors of the house evoke the power and mystery of de Chirico's paintings. The massive entry wall guides one into the house, an atmospheric interior suffused with rich saturated color that captures and transforms the brilliant natural light of New Mexico.