Sunday, March 06, 2011

Samitaur Selected as Developer of the Barelas Railyards

My first response was, "WHO?!" Then, I did what anyone not in the know would do: I did a google search. This revealed a heap of information and press regarding their Culver City project that includes their headquarter building, which resembles a modern version of Bart Prince's home along Monte Vista. Further research
yielded a partnership with Eric Owen Moss Architects, also out of Los Angeles. I was, im-mediately, angry that we are again contracting a non-local firm to do work in Albuquerque but then drew a blank when attempting to conjure up a superior, local solution. I'm now happy to see that even though we went beyond our borders, we didn't settle for some "starchitect" like Gehry, Liebskind, or Foster, whose works can be found in nearly every major, damn city from Trenton to Timbuktu. Their works are growing a bit too commonplace and it's nice to see fresh ideas rather than the same three designs twisted and contorted in unoriginal ways.

Enough about that, these are exciting times seeing that this process is proceeding. Imagine what a redeveloped railyard and (this is optimistic, I know) arena/hotel project would do for downtown Albuquerque. Below are some images of projects from Eric Owen Moss Architects. Oh the things we may see in our very own ciudad...
I think what I appreciate most about this team's work is their heavy, industrial, yet modern designs. The railyards are large, hulking, industrial masses lurking in their corner of downtown. I would hate to see new development not complement the precedent they've set. Nearly every attempt at post modernism that's been attempted in our city has a stripped-down feeling to it that makes it feel like it'd be more at home in Omaha. I am comfortable and confident that this team will push our boundaries as a community and I'm giddy at the mere thought.

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