National Institute of Flamenco
The National Institute of Flamenco had been occupying a retired auto garage in Albuquerque. In 2006 it acquired a corner lot directly in Old Town on the Santa Fe Plaza and desired a more dynamic and appropriate identity. Aside from housing the current program found in their existing location, the institute needed to expand considerably to include additional areas of performance art; music and multimedia/digital choreography. Additionally, a cafe/club component with small sound stage was required that linked back strongly to the plaza.
The building had to maintain strong social connections to its surrounding urban fabric. The site had to maintain porosity, the ability for the passerby to infiltrate and occupy public and semi private outdoor elements within the institute’s boundaries. Also, the institute needed very strong connections between the workshop studios, gallery and café and the surrounding environment so as to engage visitors within the general proximity of the institute.
The cleaved plan is a metaphor for a pierced heart and a direct representation of the inspirational imagery found in the poetics of duende flamenco: the broken heart and the splinter that pains the soul, informs an architecture that roots towards a historically rational perception embattled in translations of the immediate. An evolution of Spanish-Pueblo Style expands form and aesthetics into a hybridization that embraces a regionally familiar massing with updated techniques in building and surface technologies. The new institute embodies an expressive freedom that celebrates the moment while retaining fundamental social and cultural southwest traditions.