Eagles Nest Architecture Series: Southwest Contemporary, Variations on Traditional Themes

Presented by: Eagles Nest Architectural Committee

Contemporary architecture is often easier described by what it isn’t, rather than by what it is.  This is because it is largely an unspecific style of its own, but instead a free, present day expression of one of many traditional architectural styles that influence it.  Thus, contemporary architecture is typically referred to by an inspirational style accompanied by the word “revival” or “contemporary.”  Although often confused, it is different from “modern” architecture, which is a definable style of function driven design.

Modern Architecture

In its proper forms, southwest contemporary architecture draws from the colors, textures, masses and geometry of ranch, prairie, pueblo and Spanish styles in a delusively alluring present day interpretation.  However, the fundamental elements of those styles can and should be found in the interpretation.  Common to many contemporary interpretations are

  • Irregular or unusually shaped frames,
  • Open floor plans,
  • Oversized windows to bring large amounts of natural light,
  • The use of “green” and repurposed components, and
  • Designs that draw from features found in the surrounding environment connecting indoor and outdoor spaces.

Contemporary Architecture

Southwest contemporary architecture provides a sense of glamour and richness of diversity to Eagles Nest, while reinforcing the traditional southwestern theme of the community from which it draws.