Vermejo Park Ranch: Raton, New Mexico
Conron & Woods won a design competition for the design of this 12,000 sf lodge on the historic Vermejo Park Ranch owned by Ted Turner. The challenge was to design a building which was faithful to the style of a soon-to-be-retired 1915 lodge nearby on the Ranch and to its longstanding guests, while creating a sustainable design. In addition to taking cues from historic buildings on the Ranch, the lodge design took inspiration from the great buildings of the National Parks, incorporating dramatic stone and timber elements fitting for the breathtaking and secluded high altitude site that had been chosen for the project.
The project involved an extraordinary level of collaboration between owner, architect, and contractor, Lockwood Construction. The journey to completion included studying the potential of alternative energy for this off-the-grid, 10,500 foot elevation site, solving the problems of working at an extremely remote site on private land, and processing wood and stone from the Ranch for the construction. In the end, 40% of the materials in the building came from the ranch or from the nearby region. The building is designed for year-round use and incorporates energy-efficient light and water-conserving plumbing equipment. The Turner mission incorporates sustainability in several dimensions. This project was designed as sustainably as possible, and achieved LEED Silver.
In addition, Conron & Woods provided interior design services, working with a Taos County woodworker to design a collection of unique furniture for the Lodge, also made with ranch-sourced wood. Many of the pieces include carvings depicting scenes from the Ranch. This finishing touch, which is sustainable in its own right, using local materials, processed locally, and employing local craftsmen, completed this unique project marrying contemporary practicality and traditional style. The new Costilla Lodge won the Best Buildings Grand Prize award from the New Mexico Association of General Contractors in 2011.