Modern architecture refers to an overarching movement and design that emerged in the Western world at the turn of the 20th century.
This architectural style was popular for universities, government buildings, and residential homes.
Modern architecture brought about:
- Clean lines
- Plenty of glass for natural light
- Broad roof overhangs
- Well-defined, rectangular forms
- Modern materials and systems, such as steel, exposed concrete, column-free spaces, and radiant floor heating
As you may infer, modern architecture is quite the opposite of the traditional adobe Santa Fe style. Since adobe style is meant to mimic the land and environment around it, the style contains more earth tones and rounded features versus the more angular approach of modern architecture.
A Mix of Architecture Begins
Santa Fe stayed true to its traditional theme well into the 21st century. The city has long been a tourist destination due to its unique architectural style: rounded walls, muted colors, small windows.
Strict building codes in Santa Fe ensures that this aesthetic is maintained throughout the city’s central district. But many modern home buyers prefer a different approach to Santa Fe’s traditional architecture.
Now, the city’s less regulated areas have experienced a new wave of modern homes, with steel and glass materials dotting Santa Fe’s landscape, and homes with angles versus a rounded finish.
Builders and architects in Santa Fe believe that the shift towards more modern styled buildings coincides with the increasing admiration for contemporary art in the city.
Modern art galleries have been set up in notable areas like the Railyard district, just outside of the city’s heavily regulated central districts. This has given contemporary artists the platform they need to put their creativity to good use.
The Historic District Review Board in Santa Fe is responsible for regulating the construction of new buildings, exterior alterations to existing buildings, and the demolition of buildings. This jurisdiction covers Santa Fe’s five historic districts, which makes up 20% of the city. In these districts, building codes are strictly applied. For instance, windows must be a maximum of 30 inches diagonal.
Tradition Meets Modernism in Santa Fe
While many potential homeowners are attracted to Santa Fe for its unique landscape, they want homes that reflect a more contemporary aesthetic:
- Bright spaces with plenty of natural light
- High-efficiency features
- Low environmental impact
Palo Santo Design LLC – an award-winning general contractor and architecture/design firm – is committed to meeting this need. Our goal is to provide custom homes, renovations and commercial spaces that meet the highest standard of craftsmanship, high efficiency, with personalized project management tailored to the unique needs of each client.
We understand the dramatic shift in demands in Santa Fe, with a steadily increasing demand for contemporary buildings and energy efficient features, which bring about more modern touches.
However, we also realize that today’s prospective homeowners in Santa Fe desire homes that integrate traditional features such as curbless shower stalls and wider doorways into contemporary styled buildings. This is why our “soft contemporary” custom homes are designed to have a traditional adobe, yet modern feel.
Exotic woods, glasses, metal and glints of stone contribute to the contemporary feel in Santa Fe even when they are styled in plastered interior walls and a coated exterior.
Santa Fe’s architecture continues to stand out and attract tourists from different parts of the world. As a result, our approach at Palo Santo Design LLC focuses on ensuring the right mix of tradition and modernism based on what our clients want.
Yes, we are able to meet the city’s strict building codes as well as provide homes that are energy efficient and modern for our clients.