2006 AIA GOLD MEDAL: The work of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based designer Antoine Predock is heavily influenced by the Southwest landscape. In 1967, his work reached a nationally acclaimed level with his close-knit La Luz community of townhouses featuring recreation areas.
FROM THE ARCHITECT:
Critical to the spirit in my work is the enigmatic quality of the desert. You think you've got it, you think you understand; then you turn over a rock or crawl under a larger rock and you discover other worlds, other realms within. In a highway roadcut, for example, a sectional diagram of the earth is revealed through man's intervention. At the bottom of a roadcut in the southwest is pre-cambrian granite, overlaid by limestone. In geologic time, other sedimentary strata like sandstone and ocean bottom fossils begin to turn up - brachiopods, chrinoid stems. Then you begin to see cultural artifacts, in relative scale, just a fraction of an inch compared to the miles of depth of the geologic datum. Prehistoric traces become visible, and then the successive cultural strata. In the Southwest, after Anasazi traces, are later cultures: the arrival of the conquistadors, 1930s hubcaps, beer cans, McDonald's wrappers, and the residue of future technologies or whatever else you might imagine out there - the completion of the roadcut involves a sense of time beyond, that which is unknown but almost palpable here in the Southwest. The roadcut is a poetic diagram of an investigative process for the making of architecture.