Santa Fe • Taos & Napa • Sonoma • Marin

Anniversaries & Spotlights

Santa Fe Spotlight: Keith Gorges

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In December 1993, Keith Gorges, along with business partners Kurt and Eric Faust, founded Tierra Concepts, Inc., a design and build firm specializing in custom homes. He views it as “one of the most fortuitous moments” of his life.

How would you describe what you do for a living, and what is your favorite part of your job?

We’ve had the fun and privilege of designing and building some of Santa Fe’s finest homes. We’ve won the prestigious Grand Hacienda Award six times. More importantly, we’ve worked with a lot of really fun and interesting craftspeople and customers. With Tierra I was lucky to have found an outlet for both my physical and creative energy. In the early days we did much of the work: poured foundations, framed, built cabinets, and so forth. We were very hands on, and we loved it. Later, as the business grew, we were able to adapt and grow personally, developing other talents and passions. In recent years I’ve spent a good deal of my time designing homes. We’ve worked on so many beautiful adobe homes and more recently what we call “contextual modern” homes. There’s never been a dull moment.

What do you consider the greatest challenges and rewards of your job?

Seeing the creative process come to life and working with all the wonderful people I come into contact with every day. We have an amazing team of professionals, from skilled laborers, carpenters, superintendents and designers to the production team in the office.

How did you end up living in Santa Fe?

After I graduated from a small environmental-, forestry- and agriculture-focused college in Northern Vermont, my girlfriend was moving to Santa Fe, and I joined her. We’ve long since parted, but I fell in love with Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. I’ve never looked back.

What is your best insider recommendation for Santa Fe visitors?

That visitors new to Santa Fe dive in and experience the culture and history. Walk from the plaza up Canyon Road, visit the churches, eat at the Shed. Then drive the “High Road” to Taos, stopping at the austerely beautiful Las Trampas Church.

What is your favorite near or far getaway, and why?

The mountains; they renew my soul and energy. Years ago, technical climbing and mountaineering took me to Peru, Nepal and the Rocky Mountains. A favorite activity now is mountain biking. I ride with a group a couple of times a week and explore the amazing trails around Santa Fe. However, I still have a passion for high mountains. In 2018 I realized one of my lifelong dreams by climbing North America’s highest mountain, Denali (pictured at left). And on January 12, 2019, I summited Aconcagua, South America’s highest mountain.

Describe an unrealized dream of yours.

To operate an organic working farm that’s also a bed-and-breakfast. I think people would really enjoy staying at a working farm and experiencing what that life is like. All of us have a yearning for a deeper connection with the land, with the earth. I suppose that’s also why I love Tierra: the connection to something greater than myself and bringing things to life.

As told to Cyndy Tanner

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Leah Pinkus