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Deborah Auten Architect

Santa Fe Architecture

Santa Fe

Building and Remodeling > Architects > Deborah Auten Architect

Deborah Auten Architect

Every house needs living space, play room, sleeping areas, kitchens and baths. Every client needs these things in different ways. We work together to join your ideas and mine, practicality and imagination, and contemporary and traditional elements to make a wonderful house.

Name: Deborah Auten Architect
Website Links:  Working with an Architect
Deborah Auten Architecture - Materials
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Deborah Auten Architecture - Projects
Santa Fe 
125 E. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(Click for Map)
Phone: 505-982-8956

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Santa Fe Architecture

Santa Fe architecture is a particularly rich language of elements, with direct roots to past traditions. Courtyards, thick walls, natural materials and sculptural forms can be luxuries in other areas. Here they are expected, integral to design, part of what gives houses here their distinct look. There is also the element of timelessness - the beauty of Santa Fes vocabulary of architecture lends itself to not only to the continuing celebration of traditional expression but also to a contemporary interpretation. I love working both ends of the spectrum and find it particularly interesting to find the right point along the spectrum for you.

Building in harmony with the land is a key principle of design of my work. Santa Fe is a region of incredible beauty and a climate that propels you outside. I use courtyards, the portals (porches), outdoor rooms and terraces as essential transitions between inside and out. Through the use of material and color, I try to merge the house with its landscape.

I believe it is also important to respect the authentic character of materials. Santa Fe Style should be more than skin deep ornamentation; it should be a respectful use of materials in their best capacities. Moreover, Santa Fe Style has a natural green bent - thick walls allow for greater insulation, a mix of large and small windows helps cross ventilation, and many of the iconic materials of Santa Fe are sustainable. Courtyard gardens and portals provide natural shade and cooling. Santa Fes amazing proportion of sunny days per year make solar heating and photovoltaic systems Ive been working with these elements for many years, and integrating newer

The light in Santa Fe is unlike any other I've seen. It is a challenge to do it justice, but how the light washes a wall or etches a shadow is part of the poetry of design here. Thick walls splayed out framing a window, pergolas overlaid with latillas, and skylights are all ways architecture can play with light.

I believe that a house is a place to live, work and play. It is the extent of the universe and the size of a room. I begin design with space: what it should do and how it should feel, the pragmatic and the creative. My philosophy can be summed in this way: a good building has harmony with its site, connection to the land, character in its form, personality in its materials, and a sensitive interplay with light.

I am a sole practitioner, which means I am the principal on each project. Conversely, this also means I am skilled at putting together and working with a team as needs dictate, and every project includes at least the team of the architect and the contractor. My master's degree is from the University of Maryland. I am a registered architect in both Maryland and New Mexico. While I specialize in residential architecture, I've worked on two larger scale commercial projects: a unique combination of services, offices, and residences for the Lifelink, which helps the homeless not only with shelter but with training to get them back on their feet and a complete renovation of a mixed use historic building in downtown Santa Fe. My residential work ranges in size, and I have had the good fortune to work with a number of artists in designing their unique homes.

Honors include nomination for the McAuley Institute's Courage in Community Award, selection as one of the Young Turks of New Mexico Architecture for an exhibition at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and work featured in the Santa Fean magazine. My work was featured on the show 'Comfort Zones' on HGTV. I have also received an award from the Historic Preservation Board in the city of Santa Fe for my restoration and rehabilitation of the historic downtown building known as Doodlets.

Green & Sustainable
I have always approached designing from this vantage - careful siting and appropriate building form are the starting points of green design. I have incorporated everything from a 9.9 KW photovoltaic system to an anaerobic septic cistern in my work. I have worked with chemically sensitive clients as well. Designing green should be a very individual process - what are your most important goals, what will work best to achieve those, and how can we stretch the budget to make it all work?


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