Located within a mile of Taos Plaza and the main corridor for shopping and retail is the site for Tierra Montosa; a high quality affordable housing community within the original urban core of historic Taos. Tierra Montosa intends to meet the highest levels of sustainability including Passive house standards and has been designed from the ground up to achieve this affordably and beautifully. Located between residential and commercial zones of the city, the setting of the site is ideal for pedestrian living. Directly surrounding Tierra Montosa lies a large community of retail, restaurant, educational, and municipal buildings as well as traditional single-family residential neighborhoods. The overall design provides a variety of building scales and forms to respect this diversity while maintaining a consistency in building orientation that is critical to the development’s energy performance. The rehabilitation of existing multifamily residential units and the community building has been prioritized. Prioritizing simplification is a theme throughout the project and applies to the selection of durable building materials, the design of open floor plans, and the use of shared systems when appropriate. The remaining new 26 apartments will be design to achieve Passive House certification. As an in-fill site adjoining Taos Plaza and the retail core, Tierra Montosa provides substantial and much needed affordable housing to the area. By bringing high quality, healthy, and affordable living spaces to the town, the project supports the local economy and celebrates the ongoing rich heritage that Taos provides.