He spent many years living in New Mexico, enjoys international travel and studies dance and choreography. He relaxes to the motion of distance running, motorcycling and water skiing. Architect Antoine Predock has carefully created a blend of intricate design and free-flowing processes that closely resembles his interests. Viewers of his work enjoy the tremendous presence of thoughtfully sculptured buildings.
His buildings appear to have been organically grown out of the earth. He actually begins his building designs in clay and then bonds his creations with the modern world of computer design.
Predock, born in 1936 in Lebanon, Missouri, was a student of fine arts and engineering at the University of New Mexico. He followed his father’s path and explored engineering, but it was not for him. He went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Columbia University. While there, he earned a fellowship in architecture to Spain. He traveled Europe on a motor scooter to study the centuries of great art.
Before establishing his studio in 1967, Predock explored other avenues. At one time he managed a modern dance company. Choreography is another key to his designs and was a major influence of one of his most notable structures, San Diego’s Petco Park. The ballpark of the San Diego Padres gained national attention as it reinvented the concept of a sports complex as a spectacular garden.
Predock first gained recognition with his design of the La Luz Community in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1970. He won his first national design competition with Arizona State University’s Nelson Fine Arts Center. After this award, Christopher Meade wrote: “Inspiration, legend, and irony ran together in a postmodern hypertext of publicity that soon made Predock into a superstar, cast variously in the mythic roles of desert shaman or Western outlaw, who rode into town on his Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle to challenge the architectural establishment.”
In 1985, Predock was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize and was honored with the AIA Gold Medal, the highest distinction from the American Institute of Architects. He also was honored with the distinguished Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. He won the American Architecture Award for his design of the Pima Community College Learning Center in Green Valley, Ariz. in 2005, the GSA Design Award for the U.S. Federal Courthouse in El Paso in 2004, the Tucker Architectural Awards for his design of the Shadow House in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2004 and the AIA Western Mountain Region Honor Award for the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library in Pueblo, Colorado in 2004.
Many of Predock’s designs have clearly been influenced by his time in New Mexico. Experts have said he brings a sense of connection and force to his work, with spiritual interaction, movement, the natural environment and technology.
He counts Frank Lloyd Wright as a major influence, and he even apprenticed one summer with a Wright associate in Texas, Charles Adams. Adams’ attention to detail, “The fanatical Wrightian pursuit of detail that grows organically,” left a real impression on him, Predock said in an interview.
Other notable projects include the Hotel Santa Fe at the Euro Disney Resort in France, the Turtle Creek House in Texas, the Thousand Oaks Civic Center in California, the Museum of Science and Industry in Florida, the Tang Teaching Center at Skidmore College in New York, the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, Austin City Hall in Texas and George Pearl Hall at the University of Mexico’s School of Architecture. Works in progress include Trinity River Interpretive Center in Texas, the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, the Inn at the French Laundry in California, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Canada and the Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College.
Predock may say it best. As he told Architectural Digest, which named him one of the Top 100 Architects last year: “In my work, my investigations are without boundaries. They examine physical place, cultural strata and the client’s program. Gestural models and drawings flow from that datum. There is no overriding philosophy.”
Featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books, Predock has also been a visiting professor and critic at prestigious universities, including Harvard and Southern Californian Institute of Architecture.
Antoine Predock Architect P.C. now has offices in Albuquerque, Taiwan and Los Angeles.