Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bart Prince

By Dempson Haney

Bart prince’s life began in New Mexico on June 24, 1947. His fascination for Wright’s architecture fueled his desire to become an architect, and thus had decided his field of study. From 1965 to 1970, Prince attended Arizona State University School of Architecture. While in the middle of his third year design studio, he was given the option of advancing to the second semester of fourth year studio. Up to this point, never has this taken place at Arizona State University. During his senior days, he won the Weaver and Drover competition, designing a high rise multi use structure that stretched across the Black Canyon Freeway in Phoenix, Arizona. It was this honor that awarded him the opportunity to work for Cwmbran Development Corporation in Wales over the summer. After his return, he spent the next year fabricating his thesis. While over in Wales, Prince had compiled a 65 page book of his analysis on Cwmbran’s existing conditions, socially, politically, and physically. His next notion was that the social fabrication of the New Town Centre was in adequate after Great Britain’s approach to new cities development. Prince wrote, “Social life cannot be regulated to any fixed pattern.” He wanted a more organic solution that promoted growth and evolution. He then began to derive his solution and record it through ink and wash drawings. When Prince returned to Arizona he met Bruce Goff. Goff had been lecturing at Arizona and quickly noticed Prince’s work. Bruce was then to Prince as what Sullivan was to Wright. After the death of Bruce Goff in 1988, Prince then begins his solo partnership, only to hire occasionally to complete projects.

Prince’s work takes on a highly organic form, very fluid like. His work is like the remains of prehistoric marine life fossilized within the western American deserts of Arizona, New Mexico, and California to the rolling plains of Colorado, Idaho, and even Ohio. At one glance the one can see the influence of Wright’s later work. Bart Prince also practices the use of total design with built in furniture, light fixtures, and non-traditional use of building materials. Like Wright, he stays true to the material’s natural elements. Wood is not painted over but rather exposed and showcased as a piece of finely polished furniture. The most interesting aspect of his work is how form follows structure or vice versa. The form of his buildings are structurally driven and showcased as skilled carpentry. The atmosphere conceived within his interior spaces, directly correlates with that of its exterior. This technique erases the heavy line separating the two.

Mead, Christopher Curtis., Bart Prince, and Michele M. Penhall. The Architecture of Bart Prince: a Pragmatics of Place. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010. Print.

Bart Prince - Architect. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. .

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