Luthier's Live/Work Pad:
I am very much interested in the “experience” of architecture and so my approach for designing this project and it’s given setting at the corner of Gold and Second Street in Albuquerque, New Mexico was to familiarize myself as much as possible, analyzing the “lifestyle” of the occupants profession, while anticipating what the neighborhood would be like five years into the future, acknowledging the current neighborhood, and its current development of mid-sized residential buildings in a very “urban context”.
The project captures a 25-feet wide by 100-feet long lot that allows for 26-feet building height excluding roof access, and an allowable 12-foot below grade depth excavation, with a program to include a “gallery”, a “workshop”, and a “private residence”, additional considerations where to include space for both formal and impromptu musical performances.
I started by envisioning “the client” as someone with a long family tradition for making musical instruments. As someone who is as much an “entertainer” as he is a “craftsman”, and affluent and accomplished enough to reserve his own spot across the street from the National Institute of Flamenco.
Taking advantage of the “abundant light” Albuquerque has to offer and to play with large volumes of spaces that merge into one another with ease with concepts I wanted to explore, while still maintaining the client’s public and private persona.
I wanted to “carve out” space with space from the urban wall, to create the building to form, the facade. From such a traditional idea in an urban context such as a live/work, I also wanted to explore, and bring back the traditional idea in Colonial urban context for “residential” spaces, of “El Balcon”, or “the balcony”, which traditionally was where you communicated your status to society, and way to display one’s wealth. Space embodying a traditional idea or concept in a contemporary form,
In homage to the “musical instruments” produced by the client, and his apprentices, the main gallery space occupies this area, this location of the “balcony”, so as to communicate the pride the client has in displaying his product to society, to the “street”.
The program itself falls into place with the idea of playing with double height spaces, spaces that expand the view beyond its interior, and by being conscious of light cycles that are used to designate program functions for the client, and his “lifestyle”.
The roof top terrace, living room, gallery, and personal office are “vertically” aligned to the South, to capture the “sharpness” of southern light and occupy the front of the building (the street). At the “center” of the building are the client’s workshop, gallery space, his personal library, and the kitchen. The rear of the building is oriented towards the North and again vertically aligns public and private spaces to include the roof top terrace, master bedroom, master bath, garage, and workshop and it’s also the point of delivery for building.
The street “façade” itself obscures the function of “home” with the commercial presence of the gallery but invites an intimate study in transition between public and private spaces. A transition from day to night and night to day that acknowledges the “City”, creating something that is visually appealing, modern, deeply rooted in tradition, which acknowledges its neighbors and complements the urban context.