DRHGreytop

Rancho de Talpa: Charles Strong Artist Studio & Residence, Talpa, New Mexico, 1991

For Artist Charles Strong.

Construction was performed by a crew composed equally of local Taos Hispano and Taos Pueblo adobe builders.

  • View of North side of realized house.
  • Realized house: Image
  • Realized house: East end alcove forming buttress.
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    Strong Residence & Studio floor plan. None of the lines are parallel, as is true of many old adobe buildings in Northern New Mexico. The bottom of the "battered" adobe walls are 2 feet thick. Vented adobe Trombe walls are incorporated into the south walls of the Sala and the Cuarto de Huespedes.
  • Love room inside buttress of south bedroom
  • Image
    The house nestled in the low pinon forest of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain foothills in Talpa, NM.
  • Realized house: Image
  • Realized house: Image
  • Realized house: Image
  • Image
    West side of computer design study model features multiple buttresses.
  • Image
    View of the north side of the computer design study model.
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    Interior of design study computer model, showing use of wooden structural "vigas".
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    Inspiration for the Strong Residence flowed from the old adobe church at Ranchos de Taos, NM.
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    The great buttresses on the West end of the old Church at Ranchos de Taos, protect the precious Retablo within.
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    Church at Ranchos de Taos--with UFOs.
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    Enjaradoras (traditional female mud plasterers) re-mud the walls of adobe buildings yearly.
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    Double buttresses grace the old Chapel in Chamita, New Mexico.
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The client, Charles Strong, requested a design reminiscent of the old church in Ranchos de Taos, St. Francisco de Asis. The program called for a personal residence, main painting studio, guest quarters, and guest painting studio--a complex program in a small space.

The resulting design is 3000 square feet on two levels, with double adobe walls insulted with an inner layer of loose pumice (indigenous lava beads). The reinforced buttresses are hollowed out and are used for seveal interior and exterior storage spaces, a bed alcove in the guest quarters (end of east wing), a love-making dome (left side of south wing), and a doghouse (right side of south wing). See House Plan.

There are no right angles or parallel lines in the building, which was designed on a Macintosh computer without any pencil or manual tool drawing whatsoever.

© 2009, Dennis R. Holloway Architect