Antoine Predock, founder and principal of New Mexico–based Antoine Predock Architect, has made two major gifts to the University of New Mexico (UNM). He has gifted his former home and professional center in Albuquerque to be refurbished for the UNM School of Architecture and Planning. The building will be turned into the Predock Center for Design and Research, a design studio with workshop and gallery spaces. The architect also gifted his entire archives, including works in both two- and three-dimensional formats. Selections from the extensive collection will be displayed at the Predock Center through rotating exhibitions. The archives will be housed at UNM Libraries' Center for Southwest Research. Initially, the Predock Center will serve as a master studio for graduating senior architecture students, but its long-term fate has been left open ended. "Deciding how to use the entire space to best honor Predock’s legacy and the legacy of the school will be a work in progress," said Geraldine Forbes Isais, the Dean of UNM's School of Architecture and Planning. Predock, who has offices in both Albuquerque and Taipei, has practiced architecture at his current studio for 50 years. Over this time, he has pioneered a Southwestern-influenced modernism through a hefty portfolio of large–scale commissions, including museums, offices, art and entertainment centers, sports, educational and research facilities . Some of his best–known works include the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum in Taibao City, Taiwan, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Canada, and the new stadium of the San Diego Padres. He also designed the main building for UNM's School of Architecture and Planning. In 2016, Predock was awarded the AIA Gold Medal, an honor previously given to Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright, and the 2007 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Lifetime Achievement Award. “New Mexico is my spiritual home,” Predock said in the press release announcing the gift. “Everything I learned here taught me how to pay attention to what I call site specificity. New Mexico taught me how to be an architect.”
Posts tagged with "Antoine Predock":
The Antoine Predock–designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights opened in Winnipeg last Friday with a ceremony featuring an indigenous blessing, performances by Ginette Reno, The Tenors, Maria Aragon, and Sierra Noble, plus remarks by several Canadian government officials as well as representatives of the museum. With its Tyndall limestone ramparts, layers of curved glass, and projecting Tower of Hope, the museum evokes the wings of a dove—the symbol of peace—enfolding an ancient mountain. The carefully choreographed entry sequence leads visitors from the building's rocky base down into the carved-out Great Hall, through a hidden winter garden, and, finally, up to the Tower of Hope, whose structure frames views of the city and beyond. Geological and astronomical references abound, from the 450-million-year-old limestone itself to the orientation of the stone-clad Roots, whose apertures welcome the solstice and equinox sun. The brainchild of the late philanthropist and entrepreneur Israel Asper, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the world's only museum focused exclusively on human rights. It opens to the public on Saturday, September 27. Antoine Predock will deliver the opening keynote address at next month's Facades+ Dallas conference, during which he will discuss the conceptual and technical drivers of the museum's design. For more information or to register, visit the conference website.
Home to Morphosis' Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Santiago Calatrava–designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, and a starchitecture-studded cultural district, Dallas is increasingly an architectural destination in its own right. This fall, AEC industry professionals have one more reason to visit: the inaugural Facades+ Dallas conference, taking place October 30–31 at CityPlace Events. The Facades+ conference's Dallas debut is a homecoming of sorts for the native Texans on the planning team, who include AN founder and publisher Diana Darling, AN managing editor Aaron Seward, and Mode Lab founding partner Ronnie Parsons. The not-to-be-missed event begins with a symposium featuring the movers and shakers of high-performance envelope design, like keynote presenters Antoine Predock and Marlon Blackwell, plus special appearances by Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, and City of Dallas Assistant Director of Public Works Zaida Basora. The symposium is followed by a day of dialog and tech workshops—intimate opportunities for hands-on exposure to real-world examples and cutting-edge design tools. All three afternoon dialog workshops incorporate field trips to either the University of Texas at Arlington or the Renzo Piano–designed Nasher Sculpture Center. Facades+ Dallas attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 16 AIA CEUs over the course of the two-day conference, as well as to meet and mingle with the leading lights of facade design and construction. To learn more and to register, visit the Facades+ Dallas website.
Despite his reputation for designing buildings with aesthetically and technically interesting envelopes, Antoine Predock, who will deliver the opening keynote address at next month's Facades+ Dallas conference, does not spend a lot of time thinking about the facade as a separate entity. "I never use the term facade, because I work spatially," he said. "I work from an inner process; then all of a sudden, whoops, there's a facade." Rather than designing from the outside in, Predock digs deep. "I talk about strata—like geologic strata," he explained. "Every project has layers of meanings and understandings that finally culminate in this physical thing, but there's all these strata below that." "I want to go as far back as I can to remember that this building has a responsibility to a far deeper time, than even before human habitation," he continued. The point, said Predock, is to avoid superficial formal gestures. "I start with the underpinnings, with the investigation of the cultural layers that occur on the site rather than buying into some stupid style. It's too easy to do that—so I make things really complicated for myself because I think there's more meaning when you do that." In accordance with Predock's distinction between style and substance, the facades designed by his eponymous firm do more than protect the interiors from the environment. "The goal is to keep away from the facade as a mechanical thing," said Predock. "Instead, the facade is a poetic thing; you want to keep more of that edge." Predock, an avid motorcyclist, uses the example of two famous bike brands to illustrate his thoughts on the function of a building's skin. "Harley Davidsons have decent engines. They're these iconic elements that, for me, embody the idea of a Souljah," he said. "Then there's a bike like a Ducati, with really out there technical intentions, because they're proven on the racetrack." The skin on a motorcycle, continued Predock, may have had its origins in aerodynamics, but also serves aesthetic ends—he cites the Ducati 916, "which was just a total breakthrough of what a motorcycle could look like," because its skin covered the engine. "My point is, if you're going to make a skin on something, whether it's a bike or a building, then what is its content? What is it besides a high-performance assemblage?" Facades with power beyond their tectonic responsibilities, said Predock, appear as apparations, mystifying the observer. "Some people look at my building and think it's a UFO base," he said. "The exciting notion of a building having an ambiguity in its appearance and not being completely understood is a good thing, a plus." In the best cases, the experience can be transporting. Take Predock's Venice House, which features a vertical slot window set into a concrete recess in the beach-facing wall. "When you put your eyeball up to it," said Predock, "it's sort of a threshold to another realm." For more information on Facades+ Dallas or to register, visit the conference website.
With project's like the Gary Comer Youth Center, designed by John Ronan Architects, and the SOS Children's Villages by Studio Gang, Chicago's South Side has some of the most exciting non-profit institutional architecture in the country. Chicago Magazine takes an in-depth look at one project that has had a decidely bumpier ride, the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, once planned for Bronzeville in an Antoine Predock-designed building, now destined for West Pullman in a less ambitious piece of architecture designed by Antunovich Associates (above). The piece lays out in detail how in 2004 the project was scuttled when then Alderman Dorothy Tillman vetoed the project, saying she wanted a shopping center on the site. The project was then relocated to West Pullman, with a slightly less expensive design by Murphy/Jahn. When that design proved too expensive, the client, the Salvation Army, looked at four Chicago firms, not named in the piece, and ultimately chose Antunovich. Even with the more modest design, the project boasts a number of green amenities, including a green roof and solar panels. Ronan and Gang have shown you can get great design on a tight budget. Even if the Kroc Center won't be a destination for architecture buffs, the project will improve the quality of life for young people in the neighborhood. Construction on the center is expected to begin in the next few months.