Recognized internationally as a prolific and creative master of his craft, Antoine Predock’s passion for architecture was kindled at The University of New Mexico more than six decades ago. Although his firm has headquarters in Taiwan, California and New Mexico, his roots have remained in Albuquerque. Two significant gifts to the University insure that his immense body of design work will remain here.
The UNM School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P) will create the Predock Center for Design and Research in Predock’s former residence and professional center downtown, which include design studio, workshop and gallery spaces. The University Libraries’ Center for Southwest Research received his two- and three-dimensional archives; some will be displayed on a rotating basis at the Predock Center.
“Initially the Center will be the master studio for graduating senior architecture students,” said SA+P Dean Geraldine Forbes Isais. “But 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.”
Neither Predock nor his wife, sculptor and UNM professor Constance DeJong, are native New Mexicans, but they are long time residents. They chose to make these gifts based on their deep connections here. Wind, weather, light, geography and history shape every project Predock undertakes.
“New Mexico is my spiritual home,” Predock declared. “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.”
Predock received the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Lifetime Achievement Award, and for more than six decades he has designed museums, residences, hotels, offices, art and entertainment centers, sports, educational and research facilities around the world.
His projects on the UNM campus include the Cornell parking structure, the original UNM School of Law building, and George Pearl Hall which houses the SA+P. Predock also designed the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts in Ruidoso, the first phase of the West Side’s La Luz homes and the Rio Grande Nature Center.
In November, SA+P will welcome the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Conference to Albuquerque. Forbes Isais is a co-host, and a past president of the organization. A reception is planned at the site of the Predock Center.
“These are internationally renowned deans, directors, and luminaries in the field,” she said. “We look forward to showing off our city, our facilities, our students and their work.”