Far Niente: A Masterpiece by Santa Fe Home Builders and Architects


We are thrilled to present Far Niente, a custom-built green and sustainable home in Santa Fe. This project, a collaboration between the renowned WAMO Studio Architects and the adept Palo Santo Designs, exemplifies a unique blend of the owner’s vision and Santa Fe’s architectural ethos.

Design Philosophy: Santa Fe Architect’s Vision

The architectural design of Far Niente, crafted by Santa Fe architects, features:

  • Contemporary Santa Fe Style: Emphasizing stucco walls, parapet roofs, and an orientation that captures the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
  • Old-World Craftsmanship: The home’s interior showcases plastered walls that play with New Mexico’s light, creating depth and character.
  • Modernist Architecture: Clean lines and tranquil forms pay homage to Santa Fe’s pueblo revival architecture, with notable features like exposed beam ceilings and open covered portals.

Far Niente: The Essence of Santa Fe Living

Named after the Italian phrase ‘dolce far niente’, meaning the sweetness of doing nothing, Far Niente is a tribute to the laid-back lifestyle of Santa Fe. Living here offers:

  • Clean air and sunshine
  • Majestic mountain views
  • Rich wildlife and diverse flora
  • Opportunities for hiking, biking, rafting, and skiing
  • A dynamic play of light across a high desert landscape

Collaboration with Robert Reck Photography

Our partnership with Robert Reck Photography, a highly acclaimed name in New Mexico architectural photography, has beautifully captured the essence of Far Niente. Visit Robert Reck Photography for a glimpse into this exquisite property.

Home Specifications

As a premier Santa Fe home builder, we proudly detail Far Niente’s features:

  • Stunning Location: Perched on a bluff near the Rio Grande Gorge.
  • Home Layout: A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom main house with a detached studio, totaling nearly 3000 square feet.
  • Unique Amenities:
    • Entry courtyard
    • Two large covered portals
    • West-facing star gazers courtyard with an outdoor firepit
    • Detached studio with expansive views of the Western Jemez Mountains

In conclusion, Far Niente stands as a testament to the skill and creativity of Santa Fe architects and home builders, offering an idyllic retreat for those seeking the serenity of Santa Fe’s landscape and lifestyle.

Green Home Building in Santa Fe

As a design-build firm in Santa Fe, we are proud to be among a progressive community of conscientious builders devoted to the most sustainable residential development possible.

Many of our projects in Santa Fe have passed the rigorous scrutiny of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program, the nation’s most recognized brand in green building. With its multifaceted approach to design and building, the LEED program takes into account a variety of methods, materials and other considerations to rank projects into different categories of certification, from basic to Silver to Gold and, ranking highest, Platinum.

Our LEED Platinum Home in the Works: 

Currently, we are nearly complete with a home that is expected to be certified as LEED Platinum. Located in Santa Fe’s Museum Hill neighborhood, the Gonzales-Scott residence is a 2,100 square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath Pueblo Revival style home with contemporary accents, ample outdoor living areas and stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Nestled into a uniquely shaped single-acre lot, the floor plan required careful consideration to capture the views and be oriented for passive solar gain.

As much as we are proud of the home’s aesthetic beauty, we are proud as well to have produced a superior model of sustainable living.

This Santa Fe home features a roof-mounted photovoltaic system that generates 4.5 kilowatts of electricity, helping the building produce nearly all of its electrical needs. The all electric home, with an electric vehicle charging station, includes a high-efficiency air-to-water heat pump that provides for radiant in-floor heating and cooling.  Throughout the home are efficient LED lighting and non-toxic finishes.

Building In Water Conservation:

As for its water conservation features, the home is topped with a roof designed to capture and utilize all rainfall for the outdoor landscape irrigation as well as for toilet flushing indoors.  Indoor re-use of collected rainwater is a cutting edge innovation for Santa Fe, and a pilot project in keeping with Santa Fe’s newly adopted 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code. Also, gray water beds reclaim wastewater from showers, laundry and bathroom sinks to nourish permanent landscape features.

Paying Attention to Home Insulation & Air Quality:

Additionally, the home is very well insulated, with R-30 walls and R-50 ceilings. The incorporation of an interior adobe wall provides thermal mass, which captures and retains heat energy from passive solar-oriented clerestory windows.  As with all well-insulated buildings, air quality is a major consideration because air can become trapped without proper ventilation. That’s why we’ve included an energy recovery ventilation system, which ensures the proper exchange of fresh air into the home. 

The system employs an air-to-air heat exchanger that brings fresh air in the home, filtering it from dust, pollen or other contaminants, while exchanging the latent heat and moisture of the indoor air being exhausted. This stabilizes indoor ambient air temperature and humidity with continuous fresh air intake. This is especially important during winter months when the home is mostly closed to the outdoors and during allergy or wildfire season.

Altogether, this Santa Fe home features many of the best available residential market design-build considerations for both comfort and sustainability.  We’re confident our clients will be happy in their new LEED Platinum-certified home for years to come; and we look forward to creating more such projects for others. 

Sign up for our newsletter

"*" indicates required fields


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page (https://www.gravityforms.com/the-8-best-email-plugins-for-wordpress-in-2020/). Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.