Located at a quiet street corner in the stylish Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque is an otherworldly structure. Slightly obscured by mature trees, indigenous flora, and corrugated metal fences, the locally-dubbed “Spaceship House” is actually the home and studio of eclectic architect Bart Prince.
The home was completed in 1984, with the conical library tower addition completed in 1990 and the gallery added in 2006. The structure is also often referred to as either the “Spaceship House” or the “Bug House.”
Prince was born in New Mexico and graduated from Arizona State University. He opened his first office in 1973 and is well-known for his unique and organic residential projects across the American Southwest and elsewhere. He was also an associate architect with Bruce Goff on the design of the Pavilion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Though deeply inspired by his mentor, Prince also cites Frank Lloyd Wright, Antonio Gaudi, and Picasso as major artistic touchpoints in his designs.
In 1984, Prince completed this structural masterpiece to call his own. The open-air front deck features a beautiful, tile-encrusted façade. At street level, metal stegosaurus sculptures guard the property. Other abstract and interpretative metal sculptures pepper the outer walls for neighbors and visitors to enjoy. Around the back alley, guests can see the house’s aft where things get even more space-age with a stucco and wood fuselage dotted by portholes that evoke serious Gemini capsule vibes.
According to his biography in Architectural Digest, Prince prefers designs, “that have an idea involved in their creation. The building tells you that immediately—you are enticed, wanting to know more.” Anyone who has seen his residence and studio in Albuquerque would love to learn more about its unique design, its interior spaces, as well as the person who created it. Unfortunately, the structure is not open to the public, but you can sure admire the house and studio from the street or from the public sidewalk.
Know Before You Go
Be sure to also check out the trapezoidal-shaped home located just to the north, as well as the array of interesting sculptures at the site. As always, please respect private property and do not trespass.