celebrating the sights

floor to ceiling windows
View Gallery 7 Photos
floor to ceiling windows
open plan breakfast nook
high desert home
indoor outdoor living spaces
sleek bathroom

by Jessa Cast
photographs by Kirk Gittings

a butterfly-shaped roofline helps capture the views from this High Desert homesite

Chris and Renee Patton lived in the Tanoan neighborhood in northeast Albuquerque—where neighbors are very close—with their two children when they decided they’d all benefit from a little more elbow room. As active outdoor enthusiasts, the land near the base of the Sandia Mountains called to them. “Both of us like being close to the mountains and trails for biking and hiking,” says Chris. The views were another motivating factor for making a move.

Before buying a lot, the Pattons wanted to hire an architect who could effectively translate their vision. They knew Jon Anderson Architecture had a reputation for being adept with the clean, modern style they desired and well-able to interpret the desert landscape into a structure. Jon Anderson, the principal architect, paired with project architect James Lucero for the home. Lucero, who has been with the company for 19 years, and fellow principal architect Dean Cowdrey later partnered in taking over the firm upon Anderson’s retirement in 2021.

Anderson and Lucero visited different lots with the Pattons, advising on layout potential for each one and absorbing the couple’s input and style. They selected a 0.9-acre lot in High Desert, with a buffer of protected lands between the home, and the mountain and access to trails. “The open space behind us will stay that way,” says Renee. “No one will build there.” The sacred views are permanent.

“They wanted to build a modern home that celebrates this amazing property,” says Lucero. “There is this powerful, comforting quiet about it; it’s rugged and majestic. Essentially, they wanted their house to embody the energy of this place, to be a picture frame for the site, which has views in every direction.”

Anderson called on Woods Supple, owner of Supple Homes, to build the home. In business since 1986, Supple’s experience in building a variety of home styles and his eye for and commitment to detail made him a fi tting partner for the project. “Woods cares about the craft of it. He’s conscientious about keeping everyone happy, making sure things are tight. I really appreciate that about him,” says Lucero.

Between Anderson and Lucero’s design and Supple’s construction, the Patton’s got their wish–a single-story, 4,400-square-foot modern home with perfectly usable spaces and a respect for the high desert landscape. It’s spacious and comfortable. Each bedroom has its own bathroom, as does the pool area. And the exterior is meant to be equally as appealing as the interior.

“The massing, the projections on the outside of the house and the architecture, in general, lend themselves really nicely to that site and the views,” says Supple. “It ties in beautifully with the land.”

Other than the stunning views, the most striking feature is Anderson’s butterfly roof, designed explicitly to showcase those vistas. Like a butterfly’s wings, the main roof rises on opposing sides from a center point. “As you enter, it slopes downward and compresses, for a forced perspective. Then once you get to the heart of the house, it starts tilting upward towards the view,” says Lucero. The lowest point of the butterfly serves as a subtle distinction between the living and dining areas, which are otherwise an entirely open floor plan.

A spruce square-edged, tongue-and-groove ceiling draws the eye straight through the 14-foot-tall, floor-to-ceiling windows to an intimate view of the Sandias. “My favorite part of the house is that ceiling. It runs the entire underside of the butterfly,” says Supple. The height and framing allow for the views of the top of the mountain, with the sky above, rather than being cut off—quite a feat for such close proximity.

As part of the effort to meld the home into the landscape, the team brought concrete samples to the site to match the polished concrete floor to the color of dirt outside. Like the wood ceiling carries through the windows, the concrete floor carries through to the outdoors.

“The front of the house, that southern exposure is important,” says Chris. The team designed the front door overhang to account for the height of the sun. “So, as it gets cooler in the winter and sun is lower, it shines through those windows and warms the house.” The home also has radiant heat and solar power and a fully integrated smart system to operate shades, lights and the audio system. And because the interior is step-free, the home will accommodate aging in place.

The walls are snowy white to let the homeowners’ artwork and the views pop against the neutral backdrop. Against that solid white, the warmth of the walnut and spruce woods throughout the home stands out. A few plaster accent walls glimmer with bits of mica for sparkly visual texture.

The architects so intricately interpreted the Pattons’ lifestyle; they designed every last detail, right down to the silverware drawer, all while being careful not to waste space. “It’s an extremely livable house. The flow, the ease in this house is very nice. We fill up all the space throughout the week,” says Chris. Renee concurs, saying, “We use every spot in the house. No room goes unused.”

“One of the most fulfilling things about working on this house,” says Lucero, “is Chris sends photos by text of moments he experiences at the house, with captions like, ‘I can’t believe we live here.’ That’s really profound for us. It’s cool to see how they experience it after we’re gone.”


Jon Anderson Architecture

Supple Homes

Interior Finishes
Jon Anderson Architecture

Audio/Visual/Smart Home System

Builders Source Appliance Gallery

PCNM Woodworks

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Albuquerque Sound & Vac Inc.

Rocky Mountain Stone

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Sparks Enterprises

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Floor & Backsplash Tile

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Santa Fe Door

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Rugby Architectural Building Products

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The Hilltop Landscape Architects
and Contractors

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Pelican Pools LLC

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American Clay
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