Simms Library, Albuquerque Academy
Simms Library

Date: 1991
Architect: Alexander "Sandy" Howe, Shepley Bulfinch

Simms Library sits between the upper and lower campuses at the Albuquerque Academy, a private school for students in grades 6 to 12. The L-shaped building features a broad, red-tiled roof and a pyramidally-crowned tower with bull's eye windows that rises from the junction of the two main wings. Clerestory windows and nooks, including one that vageuly resembles a Mayan temple, allow ample natural light inside.

The firm behind Simms, Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch, established its reputation with the design of the Stanford University quadrangle in 1891. Simms Library's rust-red-over-light-brown color scheme is similar to the Stanford buildings, but here blonde brick is substituted for sandstone, and there is not a rounded arch in sight. Instead, the building displays the rectilinearity and horizontal emphasis that recall Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style homes.

Ohio-born Howe earned an American Institute of Architects/American Library Association award for the library and the science building across from it. In addition to his work at the Academy, Howe also designed buildings at Amherst College, Brooklyn College, Notre Dame and the University of New Mexico.