New Mexico is widely known for its beautiful open spaces, unmatched starry nights, and picturesque terrain. Nestled between historic Albuquerque and culture-rich Santa Fe lays the exclusive private gated community of Diamond Tail, an established neighborhood in Placitas that has become a hotspot for retirees, remote workers, and those seeking an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Diamond Tail is honored to announce that world-renown architect Antoine Predock is designing a home in their community. Considered one of the top architects of all time, Antoine has been featured in over 60 exhibitions, 250 books, and more than 1,000 publications. He has designed award-winning museums, libraries, university buildings and private residences all over the globe.
Antoine is the Principal and lead designer of his Alburquerque, based studio, which he established in 1967. Although he was born in Missouri, he calls Albuquerque his home, saying, “The grandeur of New Mexico, the power of New Mexico began to seep into me like it has with so many who weren’t born here and, finally, it just became ‘Hey, where is your spiritual home?'” ...“New Mexico.”
Antoine quickly gained national attention when his first solo project, the La Luz townhome community, garnered international interest in 1970. The attention, he says “was crazy, out of nowhere. … After that, I just kind of kept going.” He still cites La Luz as one of his signature achievements, alongside the show-stopping “Venice House” in Southern California; Petco Park stadium in San Diego; “the Turtle Creek House”, built in 1993 for bird enthusiasts along a prehistoric trail in Texas; a lakefront “gateway” center for a new community in Chengdu, China; and the Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Canada, which is featured on the Canadian ten-dollar bill.
He has received many awards and honors including the prestigious AIA Gold Medal in 2006, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2007, and was most recently honored with two fellowships, one from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the other from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Predock‘s buildings appear to have been organically grown out of the earth. They truly become part of the landscape, with canyon-like approaches, mountainous shapes, dramatic sloping rooflines, and a deep thoughtful respect for place – historically, culturally, and geologically. Many of his designs have clearly been influenced by his time in New Mexico. Critics have said he brings a sense of connection and force to his work; integrating spiritual interaction, movement, the natural environment, and technology.
One thing people may not know about Antoine is his passion for motorcycles. He has a large collection –from a 1929 Indian Scout to numerous Ducati and BMW sport bikes, to his current favorite – a custom electric Zero motorcycle, which had been raced in the Colorado Springs Pikes Peak Hill Climb. He’s fascinated with the idea of body and motion, saying, “Architecture is a ride – a physical ride and an intellectual ride.” Throughout his career, he has studied how the body moves through spaces and landscapes. He says that the motorcycle embodies this philosophy more so than anything else. In an interview with JC Buck, he poetically said, “The connection to place, to the land, the wind, the sun, stars, the moon ... it sounds romantic, but it’s true – the visceral experience of motion, of moving through time on some amazing machine – a few cars touch on it, but not too many compared to motorcycles. I always felt that any motorcycle journey was special.”
Upon asking Antoine his thoughts about working on this project in Diamond Tail, he said “The Diamond Tail terrain is an amalgam of New Mexico colors, the terracotta intensity of Jemez Springs, the rich strata of La Bajada Hill and arching other worldly landforms arising from the high desert like ancient creatures. All of this inspired our design response for a special home in Diamond Tail – a village like aggregation of site-adapted parts, all focused relentlessly on the spectacular eastern horizon – the sweeping view across the Diamond Tail Ranch to the Ortiz mountains and beyond to the plains of America.”
Paul Fehlau is Antoine’s lead project manager on this design and has been working with Antoine for the last 25 years. “I started working with him while I was in graduate school at University of New Mexico and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve been involved in many of the projects Antoine has designed over those years including the Austin City Hall, The Tacoma Art Museum, Petco Park, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights among many others. While we were designing the National Palace Museum, I lived in Taipei for a year working on that project and our other projects in Asia before moving back to the US to take on the leadership role in the Studio.” Paul was born and raised in Los Alamos. Although he has lived and traveled to many other places, he says “I’m a New Mexico kid at heart.” After graduating from high school he received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UC San Diego and then came back to New Mexico working various odd jobs in the arts and construction before deciding to go to architecture school.
“Antoine and I share a belief in the way architecture connects people to the sites and cities where they live and how architecture can shape lives in a positive way. Antoine uses John McPhee’s metaphor of the roadcut to explain how humans are connected to time through place - in the road cut you can see the geologic history of a place, traveling up though time to the first animals to inhabit a place, to the first humans and finally to the tiny sliver of human culture at the top. Antoine believes that a good building can be timeless – that it can live a life beyond its current use and that it can travel beyond our lifetimes. These metaphors make us understand our work as more meaningful than solving a momentary need – we are having an encounter with both the past (through the site) and the future in that the building will live beyond our lifetimes.”
Before working with their Diamond Tail client, they had never seen or heard of Diamond Tail, “we were a little confused about why Placitas was chosen. We knew a few really special parts of Placitas, but we really didn’t know of anything that would support the kind of house that our client and his family were talking about. Seeing the property in Diamond Tail for the first time put all of that to rest - their property is amazing by any standard and we were all in.”
“Diamond Tail has a resonance, it’s a very special place. There is a quiet, isolated serenity while being very close to everywhere you want and need to be in Albuquerque or Santa Fe. The views are amazing in a location that takes the edge off the Albuquerque heat while being surrounded by well-preserved landscape. It’s a pleasure to be working in Diamond Tail. The client’s house will embrace one of the most wonderful views in Northern New Mexico, supporting their indoor/outdoor lifestyle with a retreat from their energetic life.”
About Diamond Tail:
Diamond Tail is a warm and welcoming private gated community in Placitas, New Mexico. Offering large, 1 to 5-acre homesites within 900 acres of unspoiled beauty, the Diamond Tail community emulates top-tier luxury at affordable pricing. Featuring paved roads, underground utilities, reliable high-speed internet, private hiking trails, and gorgeous views of the Jemez, Ortiz, Sangre de Cristo, and Sandia mountain ranges, along with stunning layered red rock and native wildlife, Diamond Tail is the epitome of tranquility and class. The ideal location to build a dream home, the Diamond Tail community sits just ten minutes east of Bernalillo, between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, a perfect balance of being close to everything while being away from it all. Many of the homes have been designed and built by award-winning architects and custom home builders, positioning Diamond Tail as one of the most sought-after communities in New Mexico.
For more information or press inquiries, please contact Brenda Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (505) 492-2015.