MetroABQ Blog

Modern MetroABQ Urban Architecture


In “Educating for a Sustainable Community,” VB Price writes that, “In Albuquerque, the built environment includes more than the normal urban conglomerate of commercial, public, and residential buildings, paved roadways, parks, bridges, signs and billboards, and underground or above-ground utilities. It also embodies an urban history of nearly 700 years.

“The long evolution of Albuquerque’s built environment has resulted in the curious architectural paradox of New Mexican structures such as the Westside’s La Luz community – the conceptually modern, pueblo-esque townhouse development on the west mesa – and the nondescript commercial jungle of signs and “decorated sheds” that line Menaul Boulevard (and Central, Lomas, Eubank, Candelaria, Juan Tabo, Montgomery, San Pedro, Wyoming, Louisiana, San Mateo, and Tramway).

“More recently the La Luz development shows that Albuquerque’s ancient traditions are adaptable as well to modern forms that shun ornamentation. Developed in the mid-1960s by Ray Graham III and Didier Raven, the residential townhouse site was designed by Antoine Predock on 500 acres of mesa land near Montao and Coors. The clustered houses, with their clean lines evoking both Spanish and Pueblo imagery, face carefully preserved open space that stretches down

to the bosque on the Rio Grande.


Above: Good urban design for all incomes–Prince’s Parsifal Townhouse complex in the NE Heights.

“One of the developers’ goals was to show how land could be improved by development rather than despoiled by it. La Luz is a pioneering venture in environmentally respectful land-use planning. Its importance to New Mexico’s architectural history has already been recognized by its placement on the New Mexico Cultural Properties Register.”

Slightly more recently, architect and UNM professor Bart Prince has contributed to the diversity of the Albuquerque residential landscape with his eclectic Postmodern structures that shun the simple, clean line, and instead draw your eyes and attention to the high soaring design and fantastic ornamentation that are his creations.


Above: Architect & UNM Professor Bart Prince’s creative postmodernist home on Monte Vista and in Altura Park.

As VB Price wrote: “Quick visits to Albuquerque often leave travelers with the impression that our city’s built environment is almost anti-architectural.”

For this reason, the residential designs of Antoine Predock and Bart Prince are wonderfully important contributions to the diversity of the ABQ built environment. We are clearly more than strip malls–stroll around your area of the city and you are sure to discover some real architectural creations.

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