MetroABQ Blog

Architect Spotlight: Bart Prince

Bart Prince, born in ABQ and raised here and in Santa Fe, said he has always hated fake adobe structures, even as a little kid. At, an interview with him describing his Scherger/Kolberg house seen at bottom, Prince talks about how a residence is a temple for the people who live there… celebrating the natural environment. Unfortunately though, he continued the typical way people build adobe, say or buildings that the think are sort of indigenous looking, is just to imitate what theyve seen and usually is made out of frame and stucco… Adobe burgers I call them.


His structures are often called Organic, not because they are necessarily created using only earth-based materials like stone and wood, but because he works from the inside-out. From a Dwell magazine interview, Prince explained that he likes to start completely fresh each time…Organic is a process and a way of thinkingan idea that the whole thing develops almost like an organism does; the forms [of the building] grow out of each situation…There is never any one thing that always comes outso I dont know what is going to come out of [each project] until it starts to develop.


Above is Bart Princes Monte Vista studio. He took what he calls an Adobe Burger home and added his unique touches, adding a 2nd story. Below is the private yard-space of the Princes Mead-Penhall House, prominently seen in Altura Park. During the winter solstice, the sun aligns perfectly into the water feature, lighting up the pond and residence beyond.

Princes structures have a touch of fantasy about them. He often uses sharp unconventional angles amid flowing curves, a lot of glass, split face block and steel. He has an affinity for structures with no discernible entrances, like the Scherger/Kolberg House below. Architecture to me is like music, he has said, it has a quality of mystery about it.

Below is a townhome complex Bart Prince created in the NE Heights.

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