1402 Los Tomases
Sculpting Light:
Artist Private Studio/Gallery

Inspired by New Mexico's unique sky and open desert landscape, this architecture celebrates and leverages the region's unique natural light qualities as a source of inspiration for the artist. At first glance, the architecture appears similar to those of the regional vernacular—a simple rectangular volume formed by dried mud brick. However, the white plastered volume stands out in contrast to the typically used reddish-brown paint that emulates Albuquerque’s landscape. Entering into the property, one must first traverse beneath an extensive pergola formed by a series of steel slats. in tandem with the tall parapet walls, these slats obscure the building's unique roof and ceiling volumes from the casual bystander. Only upon passing through the thick white walls that border the entry threshold does the building reveal its deep sculptural sawtooth forms from the courtyard inside. The design is intended to create a surprising contrast of the flat and smooth surfaces of the exterior to the deeply sculpted spaces and modulating light volumes of the interior. Typologically, the apertures were placed along the thick walls. However, in the design of this artist studio, the apertures are punctured through the horizontal plane of the ceiling and roof. Unlike typical adobe, the slightly unfamiliar forms of deep funneled apertures and highly articulated sawtooth produce the sculptural effect. The deep sawtooth ceiling ensures the space for art production to be flooded with soft and glowing light. Through these deep apertures, the dramatic and rapidly changing sky can be continuously observed. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Design Team:
Raveevarn Choksombatchai, Norbert Wong, Amy Louie, and Kana Goto
George Knipprath, SE