I may not have lived my architectural career guilt-free in this regard. In architecture school (a fading memory), you needn't worry with life's little hassles: budget, structure and client. It's a theoretical free-for-all where unbounded creativity wins the day. But for the practicing architect, the budgets are usually tight, the structure is real, and the client is all the more real. Our clients hire us to solve their problems and improve their lives. A strong architect will realize that the end product is the life that occurs in the space. The architecture needs to empower the activity and reflect the spirit of the users.
Much of our work at Baker A+D is out of the public eye. As of late, we have specialized in residential and educational architecture; two areas where the importance of the user experience are particularly important. However, it is a restaurant where this dichotomy of “user experience vs. purified theory” came to light. Le Corbusier famously said that “a house is a machine for living in”. That may be true, but nobody wants to have dinner in “a machine for eating in”. So as we designed Nob Hill Bar & Grill, we continually checked concepts against a simple test: would we want to be here? It was about being (not about eating, I'd leave that to Sam and Matt – the experts.) We think the results ring true, and we're pleased to say that the Nob Hill Bar & Grill just won a national design competition (read more about that here).
The connective element of the restaurant is the faceted “light cloud” that glows like a lantern above the bar. It connects the dining room to the bar area while simultaneously giving the bar a more intimate atmosphere. The use of a product called 3-form “Banana Fiber Dark” adds a soft and organic quality to the otherwise angular form. The triangulated steel structure which was fabricated by the talented guys at Modulus, is 57' feet long and is completely skinned in this 3-form material.
With this being the innaugural blog entry on the new site, we figured we'd talk a little bit about the site itself and what we have done with it. First, major kudos must go to Albuquerque's most creative agency, 3 advertising that built this robust beast for us. Have a look at their site and you'll see it is a LOT like ours. When we started this process, they asked us what we wanted - we gave them a few requests but basically said "let 'er rip." I think that is the best way to treat professionals; give them input but let them lead the way. After all, this is what they have spent their life doing. We got a kick out of their solution because it reminded us of what you might get from your architect if you gave them carte blanche on your new house design - your house essentially be their dream house.
But we all know that websites and homes only share a few similarities. Of course, a website might be your "home" on the internet, and it needs to evoke your corporate culture, but the similarities stop there. Residential architecture relies heavily on one's personal experience and lifestyle. No two people are the same and no two homes should be either. A good architect will listen to his or her clients and design a home around their wants, needs and even personalities. But I digress...
The star of this site should be the architecture, plain and simple. At the end of the day, we are only as valuable as the buildings we design - not the monetary value, but the true functional and aesthetic value to the clients and users. On the front page, we'll have a featured project that will change from time to time. In our 6 years in operation, Baker A+D has designed over 75 projects. We've uploaded our best projects here that show off our wide range of experience, from small commercial tenant improvements to custom residential to new public schools. We hope you enjoy the projects that we have here.
We now have a News section where we can share what is happening behind the scenes. Check out the A+D Link Of The Week which will connect you to a random internet gem we found, usually having to do with architecture, design or New Mexico. For new clients, you can check out our Firm Profile. We also have a Client Access area where existing clients can log in to check out the progress on their projects. If you want to talk to us about your project, the Contact Us page is for you.
image: Huit Carres by Felice Varini - location-specific installation art which gives the illusion of a flat overlayed image, but is actually painted in perspective.
Baker Architecture + Design provides full architectural services with a concentration on developing creative modern solutions utilizing contemporary materials and technologies appropriate to the climate and indigenous architecture of New Mexico. Read More »
NewsA jury has selected the Ernie Pyle Middle School Fine Arts Renovation as the recipient of a 2016 AIA Albuquerque Merit Award. The jury called the project "a remarkable transformation that substantially elevated the presence of the arts programs on campus both visually and spiritually." The project brought an existing… Read More »
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What do you think of the proposal to develop the Bosque?