Duranes Elementary School

At Thornburg Campus, Contemporary Architecture Prizes

The three winners of the Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture shared a stage Thursday night in Santa Fe. Equally honored in the prize, endowed by Thornburg Charitable Foundation, were Chris Calott and Tom Gifford for Richmond Street Studios; Mark Baker, for Duranes Elementary School; and Kramer Woodard, a professor at University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, for Lot K, a single-family dwelling. All the projects chosen in this third year of the annual award are in Albuquerque. Last year no prize had been given.

Thornburg Investment Management chairman Garrett Thornburg made remarks. Thornburg Charitable Foundation executive Suzanne Barker Kalangis delivered glass plaques to each of the architects and showed the images of the work that had been submitted to the prize jury this year. (Disclosure: I was a juror.)

Bart Prince

Bart Prince showing work.

The other jurors were architects Rick Joy of Tucson, Brad Cloepfil of Portland, Jon Anderson of Albuquerque, Scott Lindenau of Aspen, and Michael Brendle of Denver. Laura Steward, SITE Santa Fe director and curator, was also on the jury panel. (Stay tuned for more about some of these architects here.) Among the anchor international jurors  on the panel, Joy, has won notice for rammed earth-and-glass houses in the Arizona desert to which critics have assigned archetypes of tents, so closely do they fit their landscape with mass (of 2-foot walls), glass corners and lightplay.  Cloepfil has become a museum architect, recently of the Museum of Art and Design in New York, (controversially) redesigning the exterior and interior of Edward Durrell Stones Huntington Hartford building at 2 Columbus Circle. He is also designing the new Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, which will sit next to Daniel Libeskinds addition to the Denver Art Museum and breaks ground this month.  Jon Anderson, in private practice in Abq., has had a long association with AIA gold medalist Antoine Predock also of Albuquerque.

29 submissions to this years award competition offered statements and answers to awards criteria for which the honored projects each represented a pertinent response. The Richmond Street Studios are infill live-work lofts singled out for the developments relationship to the urban context. Duranes Elementary, a magnet school, made a rain water catchment system that extends architecture from environment to opportunity, and raises high the roof beam. Lot K, a sharp and smart house on a hillside, was designed for a a small and steep infill site, with wit and economy.

Albuquerque architect Bart Prince was the keynote speaker revealing some of his own geometrically complex projects that he has designed and had built in New Mexico, California, Ohio, and many other locales. In a prior interview with Prince, he described to me the Wrightian urge to make architecture breathe around you. Throw in Bruce Goff undulating and Princes lines become elastic and unabashedly expressionist.

Top photo: Mark Baker “Duranes Elementary School”
Write us your thoughts about this post. Play nice.