New Mexico Art Tells its History

History: Contemporary Architecture: Postmodern Pluralism

John Gaw Meem’s influence and Santa Fe Style is still a part of contemporary architecture in New Mexico especially in the northern part of the state. However, many different styles of architecture exist in New Mexico today. Postmodernism has meant more freedom for architects to express themselves and to be influenced by a wide variety of styles.

The land, space, sky, light and the history of New Mexico continue to inspire contemporary architects. It is a place for building in experimental ways with alternative earth materials such as straw bale, fired adobes and rammed earth. In addition, the abundance of solar energy in the Southwest, has encouraged architects to create energy-efficient buildings that rely on the sun for heat and electricity. New Mexico architecture is still influenced by its past, but it also looks toward the future with innovative and environmentally conscious, “green” materials and technology.

Antoine Predock is an internationally renowned architect based in Albuquerque. His La Luz residence, on the West Mesa, and Rio Grande Nature Center, in the Bosque, are elegant buildings that blend with and focus on the surrounding landscape. He believes in a “portable regionalism” that he discovered through living and working in New Mexico and now takes with him around the world. For more information>

Michael Reynolds came to Taos, New Mexico, in the 1970s and began to build his “Earthships” from earth and recycled materials, including tires, bottles and aluminum cans. His buildings are designed to be off-the-grid and self-sufficient with solar power, thermal mass, and water harvesting. His building forms are organic and fluid, decorated with colored glass and aluminum. For more information>

Bart Prince is an Albuquerque architect who builds residences through an organic process, synthesizing the client’s needs, the site, the materials and his own ideas. Prince’s buildings are eccentric, eclectic, creative and fun. For more information>

Santa Fe architect Ed Mazria strongly believes it is important to lower the carbon footprint of architecture. His glass building at the Biopark, in Albuquerque, is an enclosed plant ecosystem that consumes very little energy to function, yet creates a year-round sustaining climate. His Architecture 2030 initiative focuses on making all architecture carbon neutral by the year 2030. For more information>


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