Ronald Davis
  Home  > The Artist > Ron Davis Studios |< Prior | Next Hondo Studio View >|
 Davis Studio and Residence – 1991
 Arroyo Hondo , New Mexico
 Dennis Holloway, Architect
Hondo Compound
Doorways of all the hogans face the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.
Looking to the Davis Studio-Residence and the Rio Grande gorge in the middle distance.
The Davis Studio-Residence against the eastern backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Artist Studio and Residence for Ronald Davis (navaho hogan idiom in pumice-crete)
Arroyo Hondo (Taos County), New Mexico, 1990

In 1990, the Los Angeles artist, Ronald Davis, inquired about the Colorado Solar Hogan Demonstration, in Boulder, Colorado. The result was a collaboration between artist and architect for a new Taos, NM, Davis Residence and Studio (initally called the "Buck Westwood" Studio—for a mythical western hero, loved and admired by all—including Native Americans!) The artist was enamored with the Navaho hogan idiom—especially the crib dome—and had for years been doing art pieces directly relating to this profound native geometry. From inital discussions about the project at the site in Arroyo Hondo, Taos County, NM, and a coffee house on a Malibu, CA, beach, the concept that evolved called for a series of traditional and modern polygonal hogans that varied in the number of sides from five to twelve.

Each hogan contains a different function and is not connected to other hogans by corridors or interior space connections. Each hogan stands free in space. Each has an entry door facing the traditional east—which coincidentally, is the direction towards the spiritual focus of Taos Valley—Wheeler Peak.

The program evolved to contain each functional space in a polygon in the following schema:
guest kitchen: six-sided
guest bedrooms: five, six, and eight-sided
painting and sculpture studio: in a double five-sided
master bedroom: nine-sided
living room: eleven-sided
computer-studio: within seven-sided
sculpture: studio eleven-sided
gallery: twelve-sided (with a solar venting tower as an extended crib dome)

Today, only the first phase of construction is completed. Local materials of pumice-crete (volcanic beads mixed with a small amount of cement), adobe bricks and plaster, and vigas (logs) are the primary media for the architecture. The artist has expanded the depth of the composition by placing his polychrome crib-dome sculptures contiguous to the complex of hogans—resulting in a lyrical art field on the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge. The project, originally unique to the Taos Valley, has inspired other people in the neighborhood to mime the hogan theme.

— Dennis Holloway