Antoine Predock

Architect; Product/Industrial Designer / United States / Antoine Predock Architect, PC

Antoine Predock, FAIA

Principal, Antoine Predock Architect PC since 1967

Antoine Predock Studio established in 1967

Background:

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Lifetime Achievement, 2007 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, 2006 AIA New Mexico/New Mexico Architects Silver Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005 Doctor of Fine Arts, The University of New Mexico, 2001, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Minnesota, 2001, Honorary Columbia University, New York, 1962, B. Arch. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1954–61 Rome Prize Fellow, American Academy in Rome, 1985 Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1981 William Kinne Fellowship, Columbia University, 1962–63

Educational Positions (partial list):

Adjunct Professor, School of Architecture and Planning and Fine Arts Design Library, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico Visiting Professor, Casa Malaparte Workshop, Capri, Italy, 2000, 1999 Robert Mills Distinguished Professor, Clemson University, at Clemson, Charleston, Genoa, 1995 Centro de Arte y Communicacion, Seminar, Buenos Aires, 1990 Distinguished Visiting Professor, Clemson University, at Clemson, Charleston, Genoa, 1988 Visiting Critic, Harvard University, 1987 Visiting Critic, SCI-ARC, Los Angeles, 1984 Smithsonian Institution Urban Design Charrette, Washington, D .C., Team Leader, 1984 Kea Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland, 1981–82

Design Philosophy:

“Predock is…creating a remarkable body of work—tough and sensual, fabulously imagined, altogether persuasive.”—Kurt Andersen, Time magazine

“Asper said the judges liked Predock’s “very organic response to the program and to the site. It is literally and metaphorically rooted to the site and rises out of it almost like a geological formation.” —David O’Brien, Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian Museum For Human Rights

Living and working in New Mexico’s seared prehistoric desert-scape, Antoine Predock inhabits a liminal space within the world of architecture. Rather than being swept along veins of competitive power and ephemeral style, he thrives on the pulse of the land itself, thus freeing his work from the constraints of transient theories. With his ear to the earth, Antoine Predock is a translator of sorts, speaking nature’s voice (from lava flows to nebulas, mesas to riverbeds) through his tectonic language of architecture.

With his uniquely physical and intuitive approach to making architecture, Predock also summons voices that would otherwise remain silent—those that resonate within a site’s historical scars, layered mythologies, and integral spirit. In addition, he engages the current folklore and emotion of a place, by acknowledging the validity of its contemporary culture. Finally, Predock is known for making the voices of his clients ring clearly in all steps of the design process. To assemble all of these significant, yet wildly varied voices, into a tangible built environment, Predock utilizes the physical methods of sketch, collage, and clay model. His renowned sketches capture the spirit of a site through an initial immersion in its physical space, while his collages integrate the mosaic of place into a visual plane. Predock then uses clay to shape bold, malleable three-dimensional forms. In letting each site speak for itself, Predock resists an essential repetitive “style” and allows for an encompassing architecture that is both present and timeless.

Influence:

“Antoine Predock captures the soul of our land like no other architect.”—Deborah Dietsch, Editor, Architecture

Antoine Predock, in his work, has morphed architecture from three-dimensional built forms into multi-dimensional spaces replete with symbolism, history, culture, myth and a profoundly sensuous tangibility. Because the utilization of senses and the physical interaction with land play such a vital role in his design process, it has been said that Antoine Predock has rejoined the “mind” of architecture with the “body.” Even more significant than fusing the mental with the physical, however, is that he has embedded both with the spiritual. This mysterious and intangible dimension is the reason that Antoine Predock has been, and continues to be, a legendary American architect.

Predock has advanced an architecture whose goal is to influence and inspire all of those who enter and leave a space. His buildings are designed to be explored, felt, and discovered. Few architects pay such careful attention to the building’s interaction with its inhabitants. Predock’s experience in the arts makes his architecture more of a performance than a static structure. He became aware of the profound effect of light and landscape on his work. His repertoire is not merely a string of exceptional individual creations; but also functions as a growing entity, like stops along a conceptual journey. His design process draws its spirit and energy from this conceptualization—an optimistic adventure and investigation into local landscapes and global connections. Antoine Predock lives along the historic Route 66, but has been constructing his own meaningful route since the start of his career. It is a road that begins in New Mexico, but spans to the American coasts, to international destinations and to the American consciousness.

The philosophies and ideals of Antoine Predock have always come from spirit through his heart and mind. Antoine’s personality, a combination of buoyant enthusiasm and courageous innovation, captures the imagination of students, clients, and professional colleagues. His approaches to architectural design, such as listening to the land, building with environmental sensitivity, and embracing all facets of a site’s culture, influences and inspires the profession. Antoine Predock’s rigorous approach is intrinsic to Predock himself, instructing his studio, students, colleagues, clients, and audience, to transcend conventional notions, culminating in built work of evocative strength and timeless quality.

Major Works:

“[Nelson Fine Arts Center] It tells us…how it is possible for a piece of architecture to be deeply ingrained in the traditions and spirit of a place—yet unlike anything we have seen before.”—Paul Goldberger, New York Times

“…Antoine is a genius at connecting with the place he is working in, and with great artistry. It is that quality, I think, that makes him world-class.”  —Robert Venturi quoted in Vanity Fair

The scale of Predock’s works spans from the famed Turtle Creek House, built in 1993 for bird enthusiasts along a prehistoric trail in Texas, to a $412-million new Ballpark for the San Diego Padres that reinvents the concept of a ballpark as a “garden” rather than solely a sports complex. While the Turtle Creek House is a private vantage point for bird observation and for participation in an ever-changing migratory pageant, the Ballpark serves as a civic meeting place for the city of San Diego and a focus for the future development of its downtown. Predock’s influence also extends to international sites, namely, the National Palace Museum Southern Branch in Chiayi, Taiwan; Hotel Santa Fe built for Disney in France; Palm Bay Resort, chosen as a finalist for a competition in Morocco; Luxe Lake Expo Center in Chengdu, China; and the National Archive of Denmark project, designed for an invited competition in Copenhagen. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is rooted in the idea of humanity making visible in architecture the fundamental commonality of humankind; it is carved into the earth and dissolves into the sky on the Winnipeg horizon. Most recently, Predock was chosen as the winner of the competition for the International African-American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. Additional achievements include buildings at Stanford and Rice Universities, which demonstrate Predock’s skillful integration of contemporary work in a sensitive historical context.

In marking the landscape of the American West, architecture confronts daunting expanses of land and geologic formations. In contrast to the buildings of Old West towns that adopted classical pediments to assert their presence, the American Heritage Center and Art Museum completed in 1993, is a consciously monumental landscape abstraction. A statement of the powerful spirit of Wyoming, it integrates the discrete forms of an archival mountain and a clustered village to give separate identities to each facility. The University of Minnesota’s Gateway Center, finished in 2000, stands as an expression of Minnesota’s multilayered history, beginning with geologic time. Its design invites visitors to the campus through the embodiment of Minnesota images – ambiguously evoking a rock face or the iconic huddle of the Minnesota farmstead. Seen as the “family room” of the building, Memorial Hall provides the campus with a large, open gathering space filled with sunlight from glazed fissures between granite planes.

The Ohio State University Student Recreation and Physical Activities Center, completed in 2007, acts as a “Primary Pedestrian Connector,” allowing pedestrians to ascend the building and walk along and over it. The recently completed Austin City Hall is a landmark for Austin as well as an innovative example of environmental efficiency.

The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts represents the culmination of a search between client and architect for the convergence of the theater of landscape and the theater of performance. Predock used the nearby Sierra Blanca Peak (meaning white mountain) as the initial locus of the building’s form and position, and then carved relationships between light, views, performance and procession out of the building’s limestone mass. Environmental sensitivity and a symbolic manifestation of landforms are also evident in the design for the Albany, Georgia Flint RiverQuarium. It illustrates a complex and collaborative integration of architecture and exhibit design, inspired by the biology, geology, and hydrology of Southwest Georgia. Linking the city of Albany to the Flint River, the RiverQuarium will be a landmark building for revitalizing the downtown district, offering a point of departure for many journeys of discovery.

In the Nelson Fine Arts Center at Arizona State University, Predock encourages a sensory relationship with architecture through planted herbs that bring the scent of the desert inside, a quiet ceremonial walk to the theater that runs along a path of water and patterns of natural light. Predock also expanded the Arts Center’s intentional performance space to include the entire building, with features such as an outdoor set of bleachers for more casual and spontaneous performance. The form of the interdisciplinary Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in New York also speaks to its purpose, as traditional hierarchical and programmatic separations merge—as spaces visually eavesdrop and the distinctions between display and archive, subject and object, dissolve. Like all of Predock’s work, this building invites one to pause, reflect, perform, and explore.

comments powered by Disqus