Most multi-million dollar homes are a bit showy, caught up in their own excess or beauty. Some, however, opt for a more subdued style, blending in to their surroundings and letting nature take the lead. Take this four-bedroom, five-bath home in northern New Mexico.
Designed by the Houston, Texas, architectural firm of Curtis & Windham Architects, Inc., the compound consists of three distinct buildings: a main living lodge; an owner’s casita with a large library, two bedrooms, and two baths; and a guest building with two bedrooms and two baths.
The home sits on a bluff on 1,500 acres overlooking the Chama River, Abiquiu Lake, and Ghost Ranch—landscapes frequently captured by painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Instead of building a multi-story mansion in this desert environment, the architects sought to integrate the home into the surrounding plateaus.
In their 2016 book, A Vision of Place, by William Curtis and Russell Windham, they admit to being “captivated by the prospect of working in this extraordinary setting.” They go on, “We pursued an intuitive course of exploration, with simple, carefully formed shapes suggested by the landscape. Instead of working with a single unbroken perimeter, we designed a constellation of detached spaces whose separate footprints allowed us to vary the means by which we integrated areas of partial and complete shelter. The scale and spacing of these single-story buildings helped mitigate the impression of mass.”
The rough-hewn stone walls of the main house and master suite used materials excavated on-site and are built in a battered profile with the largest stones at the bottom. Inside, the floors are paved with brick and huge windows in the living room provide views of the desert beyond. Other perks include exposed beams, a fireplace, and a hot tub and spa.
Looking to buy your own oasis in the desert? Estancia del Rio is on the market for $12,000,000.