La Sotea - Cundiyo, NM
Retreat for LA-based couple with history in Chimayo
The clients envisioned a place of retreat in the desert that would connect to their roots in northern new mexico, but could also serve as a hosting space for friends wanting to escape from LA to have a breath of fresh air and witness the phenomena of high-desert living.
Three iterations were considered for the large 50 acre property above Chimayó, where one of the clients has ancestry dating back hundreds of years.
In the first iteration , site considerations took into account the flow of the client's life throughout the day. The approach is from the East, offering ideal views of dwelling within the surrounding landscape, and giving a sense of transparency during evening hours when guests are most likely to arrive. Upon arrival, guests walk from their vehicles through native flora before approaching a curved wall with a gateway evocative of the Santuario de Chimayó, a pilgrimage site nearby. A small sunroom serves as the Foyer, with doors aligned with the continuing space which is the main living space. This space connects to all others and serves as a anchor for the surrounding experiences. The master bedroom faced east to greet the sun as it rises over the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the East, while the master bath adjoins to the northeast.
DESIGN OPTION I - NO SPARED EXPENSE
DESIGN ITERATION II - TINY HOUSE OPTION
After considering the size and budget of option I, the clients asked for an extreme reconsideration of scope. We defined the bare minimum requirements and explored a modified traditional northern new mexico casita with an elevated roof line that would accomodate a master suite upstairs.