written by:
November 15, 2011

Site in hand, lamesadevenn began developing a design and program that would be cutting-edge and strikingly original—and of questionable feasibility.

In this series, trace the evolution of lamesadevenn, an international collaborative of architects, product designers and communication specialists who are redefining how and why we design. They’ve brought in journalist Seth Biderman and illustrator Nacho Durá to chronicle their “living projects,” like the Rancho—a live/work space designed to foster community and sustainable values in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Part four: At the Drawing Board…

As the bridges were fixed and sewage lines extended at lamesadevenn’s newly purchased Santa Fe site, collaborators from Spain to San Francisco set about creating a design that would capture their own forward-thinking spirit, and also meet the needs of La
As the bridges were fixed and sewage lines extended at lamesadevenn’s newly purchased Santa Fe site, collaborators from Spain to San Francisco set about creating a design that would capture their own forward-thinking spirit, and also meet the needs of La Mesita, the social profit organization who hoped to set up shop in the building when it was complete. Pictured here: Santiago Buraglia and Christian Alba (background) working on the topographical model at their Valencia, Spain, studio.
1 / 9
The primary inspiration for the various Rancho siting strategies came from a previous lamesadevenn project submitted to a national design competition for a cultural center in the heart of Spain’s proud Basque country. For that project, <a href="http://alb
The primary inspiration for the various Rancho siting strategies came from a previous lamesadevenn project submitted to a national design competition for a cultural center in the heart of Spain’s proud Basque country. For that project, Alba+Buraglia Arquitectura collaborated with Irene Reviriego and Brendan Callahan’s design company, Semigood, to explore siting strategies that successfully integrated the built and natural environments. Shown here are a diagram and rendering from that project, demonstrating how they designed the cultural center to be an extension of the topography—a technique that would prove not only desirable, but also necessary, in the unstable soils of New Mexico.
2 / 9
The vision of a building blended into the landscape sat well with the neighbors, a loose affiliation of sustainability-minded folks who called their small community "La Resolana." As a testament to their environmental commitment the residents all develope
The vision of a building blended into the landscape sat well with the neighbors, a loose affiliation of sustainability-minded folks who called their small community "La Resolana." As a testament to their environmental commitment the residents all developed their lots in a way that would mitigate human-caused erosion in an effort help the land restore itself. The rendering presented here, however, proved too good to be true. Feasibility studies by E/CA and Engineering Analytics made it clear that a sunken building would be far too costly—excavating the expansive soils and building the required foundation systems would eat up most of the entire budget. Voices were raised, cell phones slammed, but in the end there was no other option: it was back to the drawing board.
3 / 9
By late 2010, the site was buildable, and an alternate design had taken shape. This artistic rendition shows how lamesadevenn’s altered design worked with the natural flow of the land, addressing the erosion issue. The boxy shapes are the different “volum
By late 2010, the site was buildable, and an alternate design had taken shape. This artistic rendition shows how lamesadevenn’s altered design worked with the natural flow of the land, addressing the erosion issue. The boxy shapes are the different “volumes” of the building, which are strategically positioned to modify unhealthy drainage patterns and create restorative bioswales—a landscape design element that helps manage stormwater.
4 / 9
Inspired by the design work, Angus Eade, Peter Baker, illustrator Jorge Zavellos and writer Chris Bright set about creating a potential program for the building. In lamesadevenn fashion, they rejected the standard report, instead penning a comic that depi
Inspired by the design work, Angus Eade, Peter Baker, illustrator Jorge Zavellos and writer Chris Bright set about creating a potential program for the building. In lamesadevenn fashion, they rejected the standard report, instead penning a comic that depicted innovative youth flying in from the country over to attend one of La Mesita’s sustainability institutes.
6 / 9
No architectural movement is complete without a lofty manifesto, and Bright and Angus were on the job. They described the potential of the Rancho building: revitalized youth “Frankensteining contraptions” amidst hoots and hollers of encouragement, taunts
No architectural movement is complete without a lofty manifesto, and Bright and Angus were on the job. They described the potential of the Rancho building: revitalized youth “Frankensteining contraptions” amidst hoots and hollers of encouragement, taunts and "ball court trash talk" channeled into formative collaborations. Specific spaces included state-of-the-art workshops, "tech hangars" and a "war room" mezzanine for strategic planning, brainstorming, free associating, frivolity and hijinks. And down the hall, in residence units, lived the artists and designers and engineers—the “gurus du jour” armed with the space and abundance of adolescent energy to realize their “dreams to change the world for the better.” More than a building, the Rancho was a revolution, an architectural challenge to the traditional boundaries between art and science; between work and play.
7 / 9
Santa Fe attorney Todd Lopez took the manifesto to heart. Tossing aside his briefcase and ballpoints, he and Alba hare-brained a scheme that could fund La Mesita—his educational non-profit, currently stalled for lack of funding—and help prevent the world
Santa Fe attorney Todd Lopez took the manifesto to heart. Tossing aside his briefcase and ballpoints, he and Alba hare-brained a scheme that could fund La Mesita—his educational non-profit, currently stalled for lack of funding—and help prevent the world from overheating in the process. They called it "Viticrete," a new type of concrete mix that leaves a minuscule carbon footprint compared to traditional cement mixes, which contribute to more than 5% of total Co2 emissions globally. Alba and Lopez found themselves stepping away from their daily jobs to delve into pure science: here, the attorney stands baffled at the mixing table in CA2 Testing, a concrete mix design laboratory in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
8 / 9
Back at the Rancho, Alba, Eade and Baker began establishing the program of the building. The old tradition of sitting down for coffee with the “clients” (in this case, the neighborhood and La Mesita) didn’t quite fit the bill—not for a project like this.
Back at the Rancho, Alba, Eade and Baker began establishing the program of the building. The old tradition of sitting down for coffee with the “clients” (in this case, the neighborhood and La Mesita) didn’t quite fit the bill—not for a project like this. Instead, they chose to innovate a crowd-sourcing model that could bring together everyone’s interests, function as a generative tool during the design process, and provoke some healthy discourse.Next: sourcing the crowd, lamesadevenn style.Click here to follow the lamesadevenn story from the beginning.

Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

9 / 9
As the bridges were fixed and sewage lines extended at lamesadevenn’s newly purchased Santa Fe site, collaborators from Spain to San Francisco set about creating a design that would capture their own forward-thinking spirit, and also meet the needs of La
As the bridges were fixed and sewage lines extended at lamesadevenn’s newly purchased Santa Fe site, collaborators from Spain to San Francisco set about creating a design that would capture their own forward-thinking spirit, and also meet the needs of La Mesita, the social profit organization who hoped to set up shop in the building when it was complete. Pictured here: Santiago Buraglia and Christian Alba (background) working on the topographical model at their Valencia, Spain, studio.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016