EXPERIMENTAL ARCHITECTURE PUSHING BOUNDARIES AND IMAGINATION

This week I'm visiting home.  Northern New Mexico isn't what most people who haven't been first picture it to be ... it's NOT barren desert and tumbleweeds.  The northern part of the state is just a stone's throw from Colorado and shares that mountainous landscape of the Northern Rockies. 

Taos, my hometown, is known as much for its thriving arts community and ancient indigenous culture as it is for its natural beauty, unreal skies, and steep ski slopes.  Cultural creatives who have drawn inspiration here are too many to list, but include Georgia O'Keefe, D.H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Aldous Huxley, Alfred Stieglitz, and recently Patricia Michaels.  The state slogan is "Land of Enchantment" and it honestly does cast a bit of a spell over you.  


All that to say that I love the opportunities I get to visit home ... it's an especially nice break coming from the non-stop "go" culture of LA.   I wrote here about the amazing and unusual time I had completely unplugging on a NM goat and goji berry farm with my little boy over the summer ... definitely the stuff that memories are made of!

Along with all those writers and artists, there have been some really innovative architects coming out of New Mexico who design like no other.  One is Bart Prince, born in NM in 1947 and responsible for a (still expanding) body of work that is entirely and completely "outside the box."  His design philosophy is to ‘begin again and again’ with a fresh mind as each new problem is presented to me,” says Bart Prince. “I want to understand the client, the climate, the site, and respond to this input in a creative way. There should be as many individual designs as there are individual people."

This is his personal design studio in Albuquerque, and as a kid whenever we were in town I would beg to drive by and gawk at it. Weird, right?  His architecture captured my imagination even then!  




Another Prince house with a fantastic use of organic shapes and space and light is the Skilken house in Columbus, Ohio.








The Gradow residence in Aspen....




Private residence outside Albuquerque, NM ...


The Whiting house in Sun Valley, Idaho.  I mean look how masterfully it fits into the landscape!  
I actually began my design career at Living Architecture, a renowned "green" architecture firm based in Sun Valley, ID and founded by architect Dale Bates, who is very much aligned with this style of organic architecture based on the principles of philosopher/architect Rudolf Steiner (also the father of biodynamics and Waldorf education...but that's another post :)



Roof Line of the Whiting Residence Designed by Bart Prince

The Seymour residence in Los Altos, CA ...


The Price house, Corona Del Mar, CA ...




And bringing it all back home, here's the Bart Prince designed Japanese Pavilion at LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) ...



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2 comments:

KKButler said...

Rosa, enjoy your trip home! I've traveled to the Taos/Santa Fe area twice - once with my husband and the other time on a ladies' trip with my mom and sister. It is truly a magical place! My creative side is very inspired by the landscapes, the thriving art scene, and the rich Native American influences of the region. Hope you are inspired, too! Kelly

Rosa said...

Hi Kelly,

I LOVE your comment and hearing that you've been a bit enchanted by NM too! Thanks for reading!

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