Four Hills House

The two-bedroom house with a studio is a hybrid, comprised of a family of forms, the completion of each implied by its juxtaposition with the next. The forms orient the rooms of the house to different views both in and out of the house. The patio, the center of local house typology, acts as both a central focus and a void around which it is organized. The simple abstract forms that make up the house are reminiscent both of the traditional Indian and Spanish vocabulary and of the post-war building of the early 1950’s.

The living space is defined by a series of walls and layers, each different in nature and material. The front wall is a folded redwood screen, an oversized fan or veil of privacy for the client, a woman ceramicist. Horizontal redwood battens on a steel frame, peel forward at each end, making concave arc on the land, providing a place for the front door on one side and framing a view of the Sandia Mountains. To enter the house one passes under a second story volume and behind the screen. The dining room, sitting under the second story bedroom, is separated from the entry by a metal-sheathed wall.

Two volumes, one housing a guest bedroom and studio, the other a garage and kitchen, define the end walls of the main living space. A frame wall covered with blue cement plaster connects the two side wings and delineates the boundary between the living room and the patio. The second floor master bedroom with its corner balcony for gazing at the city lights is a private sanctuary in a house for one, a bright flower on a leafless stem rising behind the screen, projecting upward toward the sky and the view.