This project is located in Albuquerque's north valley area just east of the Rio Grande River. The 1-1/2 acre lot was formerly an alfalfa field which was later subdivided and borders an active 'acequia' or irrigation ditch. A husband and wife doctor with a 10 year-old son wanted a house that blended with the rural character of the site while taking advantage of the views and sun orientation. Their interest in traditional Japanese architecture and culture influenced the design.


The house stretches out on the site and includes a 31 foot tall stair tower, a traditional Japanese Tea House, garage space for 5 vehicles, and room for a future lap swimming pool and Koi pond. The 3400 square foot house has a second floor Master Suite and a third floor observation level at the top of the tower. The house turns on the site to capture mountain views from the living room and kitchen and to get a direct solar exposure for the bedroom wing and future lap pool.

Guests enter the house through a genken with a window looking out into the garden and a bench and storage area for removing shoes as one enters. The entry leads to a two-story living area with an open kitchen at the south end. A large area of glass looks east to capture morning sun and distant views of the Sandia mountains. A stair tower made from sandblasted concrete block leads to the master bedroom and up to the observation level. A traditional Japanese tea house sits by itself to the east of the main house. The layout is based on a 4 1/2 tatami mat room and also has a small entry and bathroom area.

Albuquerque, NM

3,500 SF

Private Residence

Jon Anderson, FAIA

Project Manager:
Tim Christ

General Contractor:
Paul W. Kenderdine Inc.

Kirk Gittings

AIA New Mexico Design Citation Award
AIA New Mexico Home Tour