dancing with architecture: antoine predock in albuquerque, new mexico

I loves me some New Mexico, I loves me some Austin, and I loves me some architecture--and Antoine Predock brings all three together with Austin's City Hall. So when I found myself with a free afternoon in Albuquerque--Predock's pre-retirement home base--I sought out his local projects.

Born in Lebanon, Missouri, in 1936, Predock came to the University of New Mexico in 1958 to study engineering, the profession of his father. After taking engineering drawing from Don Schlegel from the architecture department in his second year, Predock jumped over to the architecture department before transferring to Columbia to finish his undergraduate degree in 1962. (After a summer internship with Texas architect and Frank Lloyd Wright associate Charles Adams, Predock traveled to Taliesin West and met Frank Lloyd Wright [and almost joined Wright's school]). After traveling Spain on a post-graduation fellowship, Predock returned to New Mexico in 1963. In 1967, he started his own firm to design La Luz, a forward-thinking "suburban" development inspired by the plasticity and introversion of  New Mexican adobe, the austerity of Louis Khan, and the regality of Alhambra.

Predock is deeply influenced by New Mexico:

”New Mexico has formed my experience in an all-pervasive sense. I don’t think of New Mexico as a region. I think of it as a force that has entered my system, a force that is composed of many things.”

“My earliest memory of architecture would be coming to New Mexico in the 50’s and seeing the power of the big, blank adobe wall — especially the church in Las Trampas, New Mexico.“

"New Mexico taught me how to be an architect."

The Land of Enchantment is probably the perfect place to practice architecture since cubism is literally baked into its adobe walls.

Predock received the AIA Gold Medal (among many other awards) and retired last year, donating his home and studio to the university. He started his career with the austerity of Brutalism and then drifted into neo-Expressionism (I've included some photos at the end of his more recent work).

In a crazy moment of serendipity, as I relaxed in Predock's viewing platform at the Rio Grande Nature Center after huffing my way around La Luz across the river, an older couple joined me and started discussing the architecture, I asked them if they were on Tour de Predock. As it turns out, it was Ray Graham, the developer of La Luz, and his wife! We had a good chat about "Tony" and his work around town and the world.

la luz (1967-1969)

 law school (1971)

aperture center (2006-8)

rio grande nature center (1982) 

a mural I saw driving from point A to point B

albuquerque museum of art and history (1979)

Predock designed the original museum, which was extensively remodeled later by another architect. Most of what I photographed is probably the remodel.

another point A to point B mural. this one is stunning! found out it was by David Santiago. the hotel I stayed at in Santa Fe was littered with his work. a print is on the way!



house and studio


school of architecture (2008)

cornell parking structure (2003)



other predock work (not my photos):

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