In the arid lands of Santa Fe, in New Mexico, is this almost 24,000 acre ranch designed by Tadao Ando for Tom Ford, the famous fashion designer (he was creative director for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent) and film director, who in his youth also studied architecture.
The designer had commissioned a project, fifteen years ago, to Alberto Campo Baeza, but it was not approved by the authorities of New Mexico. Finally Ford again took up the idea of a ranch, this time commissioning Tadao Ando.
Sitting on a 24,000-acre property, this ranch, designed by the award-winning architect, provides a fully equipped equine facility and stunning expansive views for fashion designer, film director, and (apparently) cowboy Tom Ford.
Introducing bold geometry and his signature stoic concrete walls into the New Mexico landscape, Ando envelopes and highlights portions of barren land and turns them into monumental ‘scapes of form and light.
Inserted in the impressive landscape that surrounds the American city where Ford spent much of his childhood, concrete walls form the bold geometries enclosing the equestrian facilities designed by the Japanese architect.
The rustic color palette of the surrounding landscape permeates into the complex, filling the space with burnt tones of the soil and the heavy blues of the sky and water. Add Ando’s skillful control of circulation to the mix, and you essentially have a sprawling chapel in the desert.
The architect does, after all, admit to approaching religious and residential buildings the same way, saying that “dwelling in a house is not only a functional issue, but also a spiritual one.”
Ford admitted the importance of nature in his life: “If you spend time on our ranch or in the American West or anywhere in nature, all of a sudden, all the things you worry about all the time fade away. That’s why one of the greatest problems with where we are culturally at this time is that we’ve all lost touch with the earth and that which is really important in the world.”
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Architect: Tadao Ando
Site: 24,000 acre
Client: Tom FordPhotography: Guido Mocafico