For this 100,000 acre ranch in New Mexico’s high mountains, Quennell Rothschild & Partners carefully augmented the existing vegetation and mature trees to create outdoor spaces that accentuate views of the nearby hills, the Hondo River and surrounding apple orchards. The approach to the house was carefully arranged to blend seamlessly with the surrounding rural landscape, with driveways and parking areas screened from view. The entrance arch that identifies access to the Diamond A Ranch is based on local vernacular of simple steel gates and cattle guards at the entrance to ranch properties.
Architect Peter Pennoyer added extensions to this historic ranch house and adobe buildings to create a cohesive compound of a series of courtyards. The courtyards vary in scale and character that range from small totally paved spaces with water rills and a quiet fountain to shaded cool lawns that focus on a single existing mature tree.
The landscaped areas close to the house are developed combing a rich plantings of native species, low adobe walls, stone and brick paving. The spaces are edged with narrow channels filled with running water that recalls the indigenous irrigation ditches of the New Mexican agricultural landscape. Water, although used sparingly in this dry landscape, has a pervasive dramatic impact throughout the design.