World-renowned architect Antoine Predock ensured his legacy at the University of New Mexico, where his passion for design was cultivated, by gifting his archive, work space and other personal items to the School of Architecture and Planning.
Although he was born in Missouri, Predock flourished during his years at UNM, eventually earning his architecture degree at Columbia University.
Geraldine Forbes Isais, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, said Predock is an extremely passionate individual.
Predock is best known for his design of the San Diego Padres stadium and numerous sites around UNM, including the original School of Law building and the current SA+P building.
His recent gifts to the SA+P are his archives and the Predock Center for Design and Research. The center includes a workshop space, design studio and gallery at his former residence in Downtown Albuquerque.
His archive is currently kept at Zimmerman Library and will be in rotation at the Predock Center in the near future.
“It’s kind of a dual-purpose gift,” Isais said. “It’ll basically be a rotating archive that’ll go in (the center), because if you have the same things, the teachings will become mundane.”
The center is projected to be ready for some “modest” course work by next semester, she said.
“We will start small, probably a couple of seminars,” the dean said. “(It’s) going to be a work in progress.”
The archives are cataloged by archivists at the library who will be working closely with the SA+P to decide what designs will be on display at the center.
“Much of the archive will be at the center, but not all of it,” Isais said. “Some of it because it’s too big.”
She said the gifts will hopefully give students the opportunity to learn from Predock’s research methods to help them grow as architects.
“They don’t have to design like Predock, but all architects try to learn context and a working methodology that helps them find inspiration for their unique voice,” she said.
Isais said the culture and soul of a place tends to merge with and inhabit an architect, which will then flow into their work.
“Predock is very much like that,” she said. “He learned when he was here about that sense and the sense of spirit.”
She described his work ethic as being centered on finding the spirit of a place in order to capture that in his designs.
Predock has designed globally, in Canada, the Middle East, China, California and elsewhere. But he told the UNM Newsroom New Mexico is his “spiritual home.”
“Each time he has to sort of reframe where he is, how he designs, what that building will do for that place and what does he want to communicate with the building,” she said. “It’s not just Predock, most architects attempt to do that — some are just more successful than others.”
Although Predock is not a native New Mexican, Isais said he identifies with the state and New Mexican architecture.
“Every profession has its luminaries, its stars,” she said. “There are many many excellent architects, but like in any profession, there are the super stars or the cultural icons, and Predock is among those.”
She said UNM and the SA+P are lucky to have someone like Predock willing to engage in the school and inspire students and faculty.
“His life (has) been influenced by people here, and I think that experience that he had as a (UNM) student was formative,” she said. “By giving this gift back to the school, he is doing the same thing, it’s formative.”
She said the gifts will hold a long-lasting effect on current and future students enrolled in the SA+P.
“We couldn’t have put this center together at all, as quickly as we did, without the support of the UNM Foundation, the president, the executive VP and the President’s Office here, at UNM,” Isais said. “They have been fantastic.”
Madison Spratto is a news editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Madi_Spratto.