Antoine Predock - School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico Print
Thursday, 09 October 2008 02:11

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The design of the new School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, as explained by the architects, is intended as a source of inspiration  to the young minds on the road to discover the intricacies of Architecture, teaching the students through a living example a good doze of healthy concepts.

Intersecting the original directive, and somehow complementing it, is the desire to shape the building according to specific  surrounding environmental, urban and campus form-givers.

The timeless relationships between building and environment from the cliffs of Canyon de Chelly to the mute, powerfull walls of Anasazi architecture, conceptually and materially inspire the project. While the building optimizes its functional role, it incorporates within its concepts these powerful forces.

Photographs courtesy of Kirk Gittings, Photographer

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The architects wanted to produce an architecture design that inspire architecture design. They believe that a student can be engaged and actively learn from the intrinsic qualities of the spaces in which he works.


The project is set to play this role at a multitude of levels. First, they revealed the infrastructure, exposing the environmental systems such as the cooling tower/solar engine loop. Second, they demonstrated the intimate dialogue between the plan and the section, and how they merge  in a complex relationship linking light, spatial flows and structure. This is gets clearly emphasized where the studios and seminar rooms form a layered canyon of modulated light.
UNMSA_08.jpgFinally, they lead the users to question the definition of a spaces with places like the 'hanging' seminar rooms and the rooftop terraces that redifine the conventional occupation and programming of space.

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The articulated wall on Central Avenue becomes a new abstract sign along Route 66. Its solar apertures relate to moments of equinox and solstice throughout the year. Nomadic occupation of the studios and the possibility of student encampments on the terraces contrast the physicality and permanence of the concrete wall.


Following the campus design directives, the massing and color of the building exterior relates directly to the stepped forms and the earth-colored stucco that define and bring cohesion to the UNM campus.

 
The project was produced in association with Executive Architect Jon Anderson.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:39