Get ready to question the laws of physics. These private homes have such wild architecture you have to wonder if Dr. Seuss had a hand in their design.
Here’s 11 unique, innovative New Mexico homes that really stand out.
The Residence of Architect Bart Prince
It’s the residence of New Mexico architect Bart Prince (3501 Monte Vista Blvd. NE), who designed many amazing houses and community centers in New Mexico.
“On the top level are a series of translucent water tubes which are part of a passive solar heating system. There are two spiral stairs which serve the upper area and connect it to the living room and studio. A masonry tower, added in 1990, provides library and drawing storage space,” reports Albuquerque Business First.
Next door (3507 Monte Vista Blvd. NE) is another structure that’s more angles than curves, but still has the same cantilevered style. It’s said to be Prince’s studio.
The Camouflage House
“The Camouflage Home,” or “The Flintstone House” as locals call it, seems to almost disappear into the surrounding rocky desert landscape.
Designed by Santa Fe jeweler Norah Pierson, this 2,300-square-foot home in Lamy isn’t actually made from rock at all. It’s covered with a polyurethane spray foam that’s usually used as insulation to give it a stone-like look and then tinted it to match the environment.
The Turbulence House
via Steven Holl
The Turbulence House, created by architect Steven Holl (2001-2005), sits atop a windy desert mesa in northern New Mexico.
“The form allows turbulent wind to blow through its center. The stressed skin and aluminum rib construction is digitally prefabricated in Kansas City then bolted together on site. A total of 31 metal panels, each with a unique shape are fabricated to form the ‘shell’ of the house,” writes Holl.
The Mead/Penhall Residence
Albuquerque’s Mead/Penhall residence, designed by Bart Prince (1992-1993), is “built on the last vacant lot in a previously developed neighborhood with existing houses on three sides.”
Sometimes called “The Cigar House” due to its shape, the residence “is lifted above the site to take advantage of the distant mountain and valley views. The plan of the house resulted from a response to the clients who wanted to provide for their collection of art and antique furniture in a contemporary environment.”
The Modern Ruin
via Alexander Dzurec and Kate Russell, courtesy of Autotroph Design
“The Modern Ruin” is the name of a house and studio in Agua Fria Traditional Village (3094 Agua Fria), just outside Sante Fe.
Sharing a piece of property with a family member’s house, a green house, chicken coops, and a garden, the new structures designed by Autotroph Design (2011) embody the area’s traditional adobe architecture and its modern industrial infrastructure.
According to Autotroph Design, the goal was to convey a modern ruin — “clean, elegant form with a weathered, hand-hewn feel.”
“Additional factors informing the design include a rooftop deck reached via the single upstairs bedroom, with space for a future green roof. Water catchment and gray water reuse are key to maintaining cottonwood and aspen trees, limber pines, native grasses and restoring the property’s historic orchard.”
The Scherger/Kolberg Residence
This Albuquerque house designed by Bart Prince (2001-2005) even has its own website. The house takes advantage of the views from the base of the mountain.
“The site backs up to a national park and offers great views of the mountain as well as the city below. The plan of the house wraps around a center courtyard that is used for the main entrance. Sloping roofs and large windows extend the view.”
The Earthship Biotecture Houses of Taos
via Sean Whitley
They’re designed to work as autonomous buildings using thermal mass construction and natural cross ventilation assisted by thermal draught to regulate indoor temperature. Earthships are off-the-grid homes, minimizing their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They’re built to utilize the available local resources, especially energy from the sun.
You can find most of them along Earthship Way, just outside of Taos.
The Fu Residence
The Fu Residence in Rio Rancho is another Bart Prince design (1999-2002). Sometimes called “The Snake House,” it’s located on Huron Drive, just north of Northern Boulevard.
“This site slopes gently from west to east toward the Rio Grande valley in the near distance and the Sandia Mountain range beyond,” according to Prince’s website.
The Sage House
“The Sage House” in Taos, designed by architect Jon Anderson and Antoine Predock(2006-2008), has panoramic views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
According to Predock’s website: “The Sage House is organized along a simple arc, focusing views outward to the dramatic landscape. An internal courtyard, sheltered from prevailing southwestern winds with walls, an earthen berm and an orchard, completes the inscribing arc.
Designed for a renowned local chef, the house contains a restaurant quality kitchen and spaces for large social events. The central spaces are organized around the courtyard so that the house can be opened to the landscape for warm weather parties. The courtyard contains a central fire pit and is shaded by trellises for summertime use.”
The Whitmore Residence
via Bart Prince
The Whitmore Residence, or “Glorieta House” as Bart Prince dubbed it (2001-2004), is in Glorieta, New Mexico.
The house sits on the side of the hills in the distance. Prince writes that it’s “a beautiful site of several acres bisected by the adjacent Galisteo River and the Santa Fe Railroad.
The various spaces of the house cascade down the gentle slope in small increments, which total 20 feet in elevation from the lowest to the highest. The central living pavilion is separated from the master suite at one end of the house and the guest suite at the other end by courtyards which provide exterior sleeping areas protected from rattlesnakes and coyotes.”
The Dome Homes
These curious spherical shells are comprised of building materials like Airform, an inflatable balloon-like base structure, steel-reinforced concrete, and polyurethane foam.
Monolithic, the Italy, Texas-based creator of these unique houses, designed a 1,000-square foot sphere in El Prado, New Mexico (35 April Way). The structure comes with all the standard home appliances and heated floors.
But it’s not the only dome home in-state. There’s a teensy 320-square foot, solar-powered dome home in neighboring Taos (211 Camino De Lovato).