Photo © Peter Ogilvie

Lone Mountain Ranch House

Rick Joy Architects

Golden, New Mexico

Located on the turquoise trail between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the Lone Mountain Ranch House by Rick Joy Architects is a light-filled twist on the low-slung form.

By Laura Raskin

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The American West merges with the Far East on a 27,000-acre Wagyu-cattle ranch in a ghost town called Golden, New Mexico. Tucson-based architect Rick Joy designed a six-bedroom house for a couple who inherited the land. “They went to Japan, learned all about [Wagyu], got the stock, and put together this company selling beef around the country,” says Joy. “Interestingly, the house turned out to be very Japanese in feel.”

The linear wood-frame retreat is clad in charred cedar, produced by a Japanese process called shou-sugi-ban, which makes it fire- and insect-resistant. An eastern influence continues inside, where two bedroom wings are separated by an open central living-and-dining area, which is brightened by a board-formed, poured-in-place concrete fireplace wall and quarter-sawn white oak floors. Walls of windows on the north and south frame views of the desert and Lone Mountain, after which the house is named.

A galvanized steel twisted hip roof shades north- and south-facing decks, extending the living space. Because the client is a “weekend astronomer,” Joy designed a hidden roof terrace for stargazing that is accessed by an exterior stair. Glass slots between the roof and the internal parapet wall of the lowered deck bring daylight to the interior. With its connections to the outdoors, the house's allure is the landscape. “They have a big family,” says Joy. “Everybody goes out there for ropin' and ridin'.”

Completion Date: 2012

Gross Square Footage:
Site area: 27,000 acres

Building area:
indoors = 4,800 sf
outdoors = 3,200 sf

Rick Joy Architects
400 S. Rubio Ave. Tucson AZ 85701
p: 520-624-1442
f: 520-791-0699

September 2013
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