A Remodel to Remember
How One Globetrotter Transformed a Santa Fe Home
Learn how modern homes employ these lessons from the past.
Santa Fe’s downtown and surrounding canyons are dotted with stunning Pueblo-style structures. Born out of ingenuity, this style of architecture is as remarkably practical as it visually arresting. To dig into its origin story and adaptation for modern-day living, we turned to designer Jules Moore and builder Frank Trujillo of Tierra de Zia Contracting, LLC. who collaborated to re-imagine Moore’s Pueblo-style home in the area. Watch the video to learn more.
When I came to Santa Fe, I didn't come thinking I was going to live here. I came to look around. I was intrigued by the architecture. I wanted to know what was happening here or how it was evolving. So on arriving and seeing all these Pueblo-style houses, I was delighted.
The adobe bricks that they make out of a compressed grass, clay, and sand. And they mix that, create a mud and they leave it out in the sun to dry. That's the bricks that actually creates the houses. And it's known as a Pueblo style of architecture. It precedes 5,000 BC and it began in the Middle East. A lot of desert cultures did it because they didn't have trees, so they had to use what was in their natural surroundings. So, you can sort of understand why they took sand and water and pressed to make these bricks. And the structures, they actually began round. If you look at the fireplaces in my house and think of that kind of round structure, that's what they were living in. And as years went on, they started to build other rooms, but they would make them out of different soils. It’s very clever. They would use different soils because of heat resistance or how it traps the heat. Say it's the kitchen and you need it to stay cooler and your bedroom at night needed to be warmer. That was their thinking. They used different soils to create them. So, it's an extremely eco way of building.
In Pueblo-style homes, the windows are set in a little bit for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons they’re set in from the outside from being flush is because they provide shade from the sun, which keep it cooler in the summer. And it also gives you the opportunity to plaster both inside and out and provide a bull nose, which is a round edge on the plaster.
What happened in Santa Fe … the Pueblo buildings were being built by the indigenous people and then, of course, the Spaniards came and colonized the area. Well, what happened with that was a marriage between the Pueblo and the Spanish. And that's where all the wood comes from.
Some of the Spanish influences in this home are the woodwork inside and outside, like the vigas and beams and corbels that are throughout the house, inside and out.
At first I was kind of standoffish to all the rounded edges because I'm used to sharp modern edges, but it grows on you and it has such an incredible calm. The flow of adobe and plaster is one of the most beautiful ways of building.