I was raised on ranch land around Santa Fe, New Mexico, spending most of my time on a horse. My first renovation was a tenant improvement project. I was twelve and my horse needed a place to live. I dug 27 holes for fence posts in Rocky Mountain soil. My father added the fence. I painted an old existing three car garage barn red, and my father cut a door the size of a horse. My first client had a home.
At the University of New Mexico I studied painting and metal sculpture with a brilliant professor from Yale who was mentored by Josef Albers. When I developed a taste for bigger sculpture, I transferred to the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. I met a man named R. Buckminster Fuller, whom I studied with at UW. Not only did he shape my view of the world, he shaped my future. When the Department of Architecture introduced a novel curriculum specializing in environmental design, I signed up and graduated with a BA in Environmental Design. Throughout my career, I have waited for this revolutionary idea for building construction and the environment to become a reality. It occurred a lot later than I thought it would.
When the oil embargo in the 70′s revived interest in passive and solar and energy, Zomeworks in New Mexico made improvements to the application of photovoltaics. I was convinced the implications of this technology would be huge. I joined the newly formed Board of the New Mexico Solar Energy Association. The popularity of passive and active solar also occurred a lot later than I thought it would.
My further collaboration with Sandia Laboratories on one of my building design prototypes contributed to the development of the first chapter on energy efficiency in the Uniform Building Code. My professional relationship with some of the largest and smallest firms in the country gave me the technical expertise in on-site building construction I needed to move from textbook architect to construction architect. I was voluntarily and involuntarily assigned to job sites all over the country to get a building into and out of the ground. Inventing solutions to inconvenient problems became my specialty.
A lot changed when I tackled my own building projects. Ten years of buying, remodeling, and selling residential and commercial real estate created tough and valuable lessons for me in negotiation with clients, contractors, building departments, and site inspectors.
For more information and recent projects, please visit Anne Reynolds’ website »