A beautiful home for falcons, and people
Frank Bond Sr. enjoyed a rather dazzling hobby: falconry. Some of his best friends were peregrine falcons, the fastest animals on Earth; and gyrfalcons, arguably the most beautiful raptors. The house he built in 2007 embraced that passion. “This was laid out so you have views from both sides, the Sangres and the Ortiz, and it was laid out for the courtyard and the house was oriented for the birds,” said his son-in-law, Tom Easterson Bond, who designed the residence. “There’s a caged area and four mews (falcon-housing spaces) in the barn, so he could tie up his horse, pick up a bird, and go out and fly.” But Bond didn’t use them to hunt. “He was a conservationist, a founding member of the Peregrine Fund, so it didn’t involve killing. He trained and raised the birds.”
Bond was born in Albuquerque and earned his law degree at The University of New Mexico. He became a falconer in his early 20s and went on to be president of the International Association of Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey and served as counsel for both the Peregrine Fund (whose early mission was to prevent the extinction of this bird of prey) and the North American Falconer’s Association. He also served as a state representative for three years in the late 1970s. In 2013, he died at the age of 70. (The Bond House Museum in Española is the family home of Bond’s great-grandfather, Frank Bond, who owned important mercantile and wool enterprises in that town in the late 1800s.)
The ranch house on Camino los Abuelos near Galisteo was “his dream project,” according to architect Easterson-Bond. It boasts contemporary design qualities, but with touches from the regional architectural palette— such as the courtyard and long portales, and the Peñasco-style cross-shaped cutouts in some interior doors. The materials include rammed earth, stone, and wood, but the primary wall material is blocks of autoclaved aerated concrete. “It’s very quiet here. AAC keeps the ambience soft, like adobe. But you don’t have to spray foam insulation on the outside; it’s integral.” The material also boasts a high fire rating and the walls function as thermal mass, absorbing and slowly releasing heat to moderate indoor temperatures.
The house, about 4,500 heated square feet, has floors of tinted concrete, wood, travertine, and carpet. Heat is provided by an in-floor radiant system. Countertops of granite and wood are eminently functional in the kitchen. At the junction of the kitchen and great room is a dining room with ceiling of herringbone latillas on vigas, framed with steel C-channels. On top is a loft library that is accessible by a spiral staircase.
There is a beautifully finished barn with four stalls — the mews. Easterson-Bond said these mews may soon be converted into little art studios or meditation spaces. “This won’t be on the market for very long. Good houses are meant to be lived in,” he said. “They’re constantly evolving and patina’d with the occupants and time. I’m a big believer in that sense: “the ongoing texture of the drift,” as [art critic and writer] Dave Hickey calls it.
The barn also has a tack room, a bunk house apartment, and hay storage. The 78-acre property is ready for horses, and the nearby Galisteo Basin Preserve offers extensive trail-riding opportunities. There is a large, built-in rainwater collection system. Don DeVito, Keller-Williams Realty Santa Fe, is listing 325 Camino los Abuelos for $1,625,000. An additional 540 acres is available for $2,185,000.