Rob Woods, the managing partner of the family-owned design and build firm in Santa Fe explains how the new Southwestern home differs from its more traditional predecessors.
What does the new Southwestern home look like?
It brings the outside in. Imagine large masses of glass mixed with sharp corners, thick plaster walls and a stuccoed exterior. There’s such a purity of light out here, and it’s brought into the house from all angles. It’s a lighter, brighter feel and a lot cleaner.
Are there new materials that are overtaking more traditional ones?
Faswall is a new material we’re using instead of adobe. It gives a similar look but it’s made of recycled materials. It’s also structurally better and has a high insulation value. New materials are tending to be more environmentally friendly and efficient.
What timeless Southwestern design elements aren’t going away any time soon?
In Santa Fe, our classic architectural style and use of indigenous materials is here to stay because it was born out of the rule of form following function. Those large exposed beams, for example, serve a purpose — they’re holding up the ceiling.
How do you incorporate classic Southwestern materials without veering into kitschy?
When you don’t adhere to form following function, you get into what we call ‘Santa Fe gunk.’ If you have faux beams sticking out of the stucco you’re overdoing it. You’re trying for the Santa Fe style without it making sense.