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Spanish Revival Architecture: 5 Pueblo & Mission-Style Homes

Luxury Defined showcases a collection of properties inspired by Pueblo and Mission Revival architecture

The architecture of the American Southwest is one of the earliest and longest-lasting vernacular styles of the New World. Native Pueblo cultures built cool, multi-story, conjoined complexes that could house entire villages and even small cities. These early architects found an ingenious, near-eternal building material in adobe (sunbaked bricks of straw and clay). The 16th-century Spanish settlers saw the climate-conscious function of thick walls and recessed windows, and the Pueblo Revival style was born. In the 19th century came the Mission Revival style, named for the early Franciscan missions of California. It grew from architect Arthur Page Brown’s triumphant California State Building at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the many hotels he designed along the Atchison, Tokea, and Santa Fe railways. Today, Spanish Colonial Revival architecture is ubiquitous throughout Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico, finding its baroque expression in the mansions of early cinema stars and the grand movie palaces of the 1920s. In this Luxury Defined collection, we spotlight five Pueblo- and Mission Revival-inspired homes reimagined for the 21st century. Starkly beautiful, sometimes even opulent, these are desert palaces supremely well-adapted to their time and place.

Camelback Mountain Compound in Paradise Valley, Arizona

The Pueblo and Mission Revival styles converge at this private estate in the desert foothills of Paradise, Valley.

This private estate encompasses 12 acres in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, just outside Scottsdale, Arizona. A meandering, 900-foot driveway leads to the baronial main residence and its shady arcades. Inside, adobe-style walls finished with integral-color plaster enclose fluid, open-plan living spaces graced with reclaimed wood beams, Honduran mahogany doors and millwork, coffered ceilings, and floors of inlaid wood, stone, and cherrywood. Walls of windows bring the light and the views inward. The main level, with its family room and gourmet eat-in kitchen, is well suited for entertaining. An office/conference room by architect CP Drewett has a separate entrance. There are five bedrooms, five full and five partial bathrooms, including an owner’s suite with a wet bar, lounge, and vast walk-in closet. Two elevators, six fireplaces, a wine room, detached guest house, and an air-conditioned six-car garage serve the residence. The grounds are reminiscent of a luxury resort. The centerpiece is a grotto-style swimming pool with a three-meter diving rock, built-in waterslide, and spa.

Sage Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sage Hill is the Santa Fe estate of novelists Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, famed for their best-selling crime thrillers. Surrounded by adobe walls, the gated seven-acre compound sits on top of a ridge in the luxury enclave of Sierra del Norte, minutes from the Santa Fe Plaza and the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Winding flagstone paths connect the estate’s two residences: the main house, which has three bedrooms and four bathrooms, and a second dwelling with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Each home has a guest house and authentic Pueblo-style architectural details, including Southwestern vigas, latilla-graced ceilings (ranging from 13 to 16 feet in height), and kiva fireplaces. Further complementing the interiors are hand-rubbed diamond plaster walls, Arizona flagstone, hardwood floors, and walls of glass to frame the views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Ortiz, and Sandia Mountains, as well as the Santa Fe city lights. The compound is landscaped with drought-tolerant and xeriscape plants, emphasizing the use of native species, and includes a beautiful 1.2-acre sculpture garden.

Villa California in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, Spain

The rustic white stucco walls and rooflines of Villa California are evocative of the 16th-century Franciscan missions of California.

Villa California’s exterior evokes the austere beauty of ancient Franciscan missions, yet its living spaces unfold with a dazzling contemporary flair. Set in a gated community in the peaceful Ibizan countryside of Santa Eulalia des Riu, Villa California offers more than 8,385 square feet of airy, light-filled living space, executed in cool white and cream, with viga beamed ceilings and neutral accents in marble and cocoa-stained wood finishes. The overall aesthetic is one of cool, almost contemplative calm. There are nine sumptuous bedrooms and eight luxurious bathrooms. The open-plan kitchen, with island counter breakfast seating, serves the main living and dining space. The former farmhouse is built on three levels and has a terraced pool, deck and a pleasant guest house adjoining the main building.

Sonoran Desert Ranch Estate in Scottsdale, Arizona

Surrounded by rugged boulder outcrops and ancient cacti overlooking Four Peaks and the McDowell Mountains, this 23-acre horse ranch offers sanctuary in the Sonoran Desert. Conceived and created by master builder Paul Lavato, the Santa Barbara-style home combines a traditional Mission Revival exterior with soft contemporary interior finishes, creating light, bright and dramatic living spaces with seamless indoor to outdoor flow. The interiors extend to more than 6,600 square feet. Artisanal details include natural Cantera stone and wood beams, built-in shelving, accents, and trims. The floor plan includes an open kitchen, dining, and living room. The owner’s suite, secondary suite, and bedrooms are privately situated. The upper floor office/study/media room with its built-in bookcases is the perfect flexible retreat, with stunning Four Peaks and McDowell Range views. A 10-stall open equestrian barn, vegetable garden, citrus grove, and desert landscaping complete the amenities.

Pueblo-Inspired Retreat in Sintra, Portugal

The geometric shapes and terracotta facade of this Portuguese villa resonate with the Pueblo Revival style of the American Southwest.

This luxurious private villa in Sintra, Portugal, is a world away from the American Southwest, yet its bold, pink-coralline facade, colonnades, and courtyards echo the Moorish influences that led to the Pueblo style. The property offers 6,565 square feet of floor space with exquisite finishes, including raised kiva-style fireplaces, tile floors, stonework, and beamed ceilings. The entrance is a beautiful hall with a glass ceiling. The living room has two distinct atmospheres, one is a seating area at a cozy fireplace, while the other is styled as a winter garden. Farther along is a dining room, gourmet kitchen, office, guest bathroom, and five suites with direct access to the gardens. The upper floor is dedicated to a magnificent living room and library. The lower level, which comprises a wine cellar, cinema room, storage space, and staff suite, opens to a beautiful glass-enclosed pool with dining and barbecue areas. Just beyond are an outdoor terrace, tranquil gardens, and a five-car garage.