In the Santa Fe sun

On a ridge in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this house, designed by Specht Architects, is built around two perpendicular walls. Made of concrete panels, these form the common thread of the house, linking its interior space to its immediate exterior and to the landscape to which it opens.

What, at first glance, sets this Santa Fe residence apart is its absence. A lack of a traditional storefront and backyard, since each of its two main façades features an almost similar arrangement of windows, portals and patios. What, rather, directs the step and the glance, through this residence signed Specht Architects, is the dance of the sun of New Mexico. Along the 38 meters of one of the two main walls, runs a narrow glass roof, splashing light and shadow on the rough concrete of the walls, according to the seasons, the hours and the weather. The interior space, created on the ground by this opening, leads to the heart of the house where the visitor receives a panoramic view of the Sangre de Christos mountains. The windows, multiple and very large, are all shaded by cantilever beams. An ingenious stratagem which forms as many small covered terraces all around the perimeter of the house. By thus designing the construction around the temporal characteristics specific to its location, using them to guide its direction towards the best perspectives of the landscape in which it nestles, the architects have succeeded in their bet. Namely, a house well integrated into its environment, but also a cocoon with a protective atmosphere.

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