About Us

Working with Gayla Bechtol Architect

We help you transform Adobe Style structures into expressions of a modernist aesthetic within the feeling of old Santa Fe. Our designs reveal the potential for light and space, the connections between outside and inside, between elegance and practicality. We transform, add to and create structures for living and working within the feeling of Old Santa Fe but with a modernist expression and functionality. We work at all levels of the construction process to help our clients get the best outcome to feel great about their home.

Some of the houses are made of adobe, pumice-crete, straw-bale, are in the urban environment of the Eastside Santa Fe, in the country, some are Santa Fe Style, Territorial Style, Vernacular, renovations, additions, on hillsides, rural and urban. I am an expert house designer, home designer, and expert residential architect. We work in the contextually rich area of practice and work in Santa Fe.

We have nearly 25 years of happy clients knowing they got the best result possible. We work with clients to help them design their energy efficient dream homes, compact and spacious. We encourage rainwater harvesting and conservation and share knowledge of green building materials and natural building techniques. We are experts at design and use other experts when necessary. We help you with site planning and design, programming and creating the brief, and the documentation necessary to design and build efficiently and effectively.

We believe in sustainably, resilient, green, natural, solar, wind-cooled cost-effective, efficient, innovative, fun, passionate, artful, modern living. We bring 20 + years of experience with Santa Fe awareness, education, and action. We know and work with the best builders in Santa Fe. We have built at every scale, in many materials sculpting light and revealing views.

The right information at the right time is everything. Let me help you know what you need to know to make the right decision with confidence.

About the firm:

Urban design, renovating, and creating new structures in the historic areas of New Mexico define the practice of Gayla Bechtol Architects merging traditional and modern themes of vernacular construction practices within a modernistic aesthetic. Many projects have been completed in the Historic Districts of Santa Fe, both new construction and additions to existing structures.

GBA designs and works for the clients who want the best in design, love the power of the Santa Fe landscape and want a home that infuses the landscape into the design. Our clients are the best and want the best for their family. We are one of the best residential architects in Santa Fe and love working for the best clients. GBA helps them reach for excellence – efficiently, practically and timely by helping our clients identify their needs and wants early, judge the feasibility of their site, review their options and form a construction team and then guide them through the construction process – even beyond the move-in date.

About Gayla:

Gayla Bechtol, AIA began her eponymous architecture firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1995 specializing in residential projects in Santa Fe and Tesuque, New Mexico. In the same year she began pursuing the American Institute of Architects Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team process for the Santa Fe Railyard resulting ultimately in the R/UDAT plan in 1997 that is the useable, workable plan endorsed by the “citizen planners” and the Governing Body of Santa Fe. The plan was recently completed by the construction of the new theater. Be sure and check out the mountain views from the heart of the Railyard- one of the guiding principles of the Plan.

She came to Santa Fe by way of Los Angeles, New York and Maxwell, New Mexico from her native Texas. Gayla has participated in several community ventures contributing architectural skills to the process: leader in the development of the Railyard planning process, member of the Trust for Public Land Advisory council, and member of the Board of Directors of Tierra Contenta, the nonprofit developer of affordable housing within a new-urbanist context in southwest Santa Fe and co-leader for the International Folk Art Market Railyard Celebration. (Yes she designs parades and public events, too.)

She was awarded a State of New Mexico Historic Preservation Award for her work with the Santa Fe Railyard. She became a qualified New Mexico Historic Architect in 2007.

She also received an Architecture Preservation Award from the City of Santa Fe Historic Design Review Board. She enjoys the challenge and complexities of working within the constraints and political environment of the Historic Districts and New Mexico.

The right information at the right time is everything.



2015 Great Public Space of 2015 Award from American Planning Association

2014 USA Today Reader’s Top Ten Best Arts Districts in the US

2014 Finalist Urban Open Space Award from Urban Land Institute

2009-2014 Various Best of Santa Fe Award, Public Outdoor Space from Santa Fe Reporter

2013 Best Practices for a Brownfield Site Award from National Environmental Protection Agency

2011-2012 Excellence Award from American Society of Landscape Architects

2011 Rudy Bruner Great Places Award, Silver Medalist from Rudy Bruner Award

2011 Urban Design Award from New York Chapter of the AIA Honor

2011 Best Practices in Green Infrastructure Award from Environmental Protection Agency

2011 National Silver Medal Urban Excellence Award from Rudy Bruner Foundation

2010 Design Stewardship Award from National Endowment for the Arts

2010 Placemaking Urban Design Award from Boston Society of Architects

2010 Community Preservation Planning Award from State of New Mexico Historic Preservation Office

2010 Designing the Parks Award from National Park Service

2009 Best Places Award from New York AIA

2007 Railyard Groundbreaking Host Award from Trust for Public Land

2007 John J. Kenney Award from The Santa Fe Community Foundation


Distinguished Architecture Award from The New Mexico Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Architectural Preservation Award from Historic Design Review Board City of Santa Fe