The real-estate market in Santa Fe now is very slow compared with that of the pre-recession mid-2000s, but new houses are being built here and there. An especially active segment is for smaller contemporary homes, according to Gabriel Browne, the principal of Praxis Architects. His 1,615-square-foot residence for James David and Gary Peese fits the description. It’s basically contemporized Santa Fe style, with sharp-edged corners, silver anodized-aluminum windows, and a casita stuccoed a deep gray-green.
Inside, the house — which received the annual Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects-Santa Fe on Dec. 12 — exhibits some dramatic flair. One example is the staircase. The clients, who are fans of the Dutch designer Axel Vervoordt, “had a vision of what they call ‘elemental,’ so they didn’t want veneers or what I call thin finishes,” Browne said. The staircase is simply composed of thick slabs of wood and sheets of black steel, with two bends. “We called it the origami staircase because the vision is of a long, thin piece of steel that sort of wraps upward.”
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