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A friendly, wide-open hearth kitchen in Santa Fe.

Like the platforms of a multilevel stage, the living room, entry hall, dining room, and fireside alcove in this Santa Fe house all step up toward the kitchen. Albuquerque architect Antoine Predock designed this arrangement for Virginia Brague, the talented and convivial cook who prepared the spread of Southwestern delicacies shown on page 92.

Bedrooms and other private areas of the house ramble off in several directions, but the central public space is one big, open volume disposed around a large chimney column (see the drawing below). Each area is defined by a several-step elevation change, roughly following the lot's slope.

One level below the kitchen, by the big brick-arched fireplace, is a seating alcove that entices guests to within visiting range but keeps them out of the cook's way. The mass of the chimney column divides the alcove and kitchen from the other rooms without really cutting them off.

In the center of the kitchen is the work island shown at right. High along two walls, a band of niches displays favorite pieces of pottery.

The kitchen has the customary cooktop, ovens, sink, and refrigerator, but it's a room that always looks good. That's because dirty-dish cleanup and less attractive food-preparation jobs are relegated to a densely equipped separate pantry. This small workhorse of a room provides storage, a freezer, and its own sink and dishwasher, leaving the main kitchen uncluttered and always ready for public view.
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Date:Feb 1, 1984
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