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 with rich vegetation and cottonwood trees.


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. 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.

Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM

3,000 SF

Private Residence

Jon Anderson, FAIA

General Contractor:
Sunbelt Properties

Kirk Gittings

AIA Western Mountain Region Design Merit Award
AIA New Mexico Home Tour