Bart Prince Residence and Studio (1984/90)
Bart Prince, Architect
3501 Monte Vista Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM
From the Archives, Photos from December 13, 2008
While in College, I remember seeing this building published and was intrigued by it. It seemed a little too “hippie” or as we would say in Ann Arbor a little “granola” for my taste, but was still intrigued none the less. During a trip to Albuquerque a few years ago, I had some time to search out interesting architecture while I was there. Luckly I recalled this building was there…and I found it after a quick search.
Located in a residential neighborhood just east of the University, there it was, right on the corner, with the second story ribbed capsule visible above the trees and landscaping (If that doesn’t get your attention, just look for the metal dinosaur sculptures in the front yard). Driving down the street, with fairly normal houses lining it on both sides, when you come upon this house you know that a very creative person lives here, and that a very creative architect designed it. In this case, they are one in the same – Bart Prince.
This is his Residence and Studio. It is a creative burst of crafty energy, reminding me in some ways of Bruce Goff’s organic spirals and forms, with a little Jules Verne submarine imagery thrown in for good measure. The more you look at it the more you see. There are tile patterns, steel stud sunscreens, round porthole windows, ribbed frames resting on steel beams, Arcosanti Bells, various antennae, post and masts, and stucco shells “lifted up” providing clerestory windows. This is the type building that is fun to discover, one that you can just enjoy the creativity as you walk around in wonder and awe – mostly about how he got those steps and guardrails going up the side of the concrete block curved wall past the building code officials.
The Model Architect – Video from Dwell Magazine on Prince
I am taking the time to go through my archives and posting some of the buildings I have visited prior starting this blog. While some of the photographs are taken with early low-resolution digital cameras, hopefully they capture the general feeling of the buildings…prompting a visit of your own.