Ash­ley Hartshorn Ar­chi­tect

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPOS -

Ash­ley Hartshorn is well on her way to be­ing an ar­chi­tect. The Or­lando na­tive earned her bach­e­lor’s and mas­ter’s de­grees in ar­chi­tec­ture from North­east­ern Univer­sity and has com­pleted her 5,600 hours of in­tern­ship re­quire­ments. “It’s a long process, and you have to take seven ex­ams,” she said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

Ash­ley works in the of­fice of Bar­bara Felix, who was last year’s pres­i­dent of the Santa Fe chap­ter of the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects (AIA) and won an AIA award a year ago for a sub­stan­tial room­ren­o­va­tion project at La Fonda. Ash­ley, twenty-seven, came to Santa Fe be­cause North­east­ern is one of the few U.S. schools that has a co-op pro­gram. “Their un­der­grad­u­ate pro­gram is five years, and there are two pe­ri­ods of six-month in­tern­ships while you’re still in school,” she said. “My first was in con­struc­tion in Florida be­cause my dad is a con­trac­tor. I came to Santa Fe for my sec­ond in­tern­ship. I have fam­ily in Sil­ver City and in West Texas, so I grew up go­ing to Ruidoso and Santa Fe for va­ca­tions.” Felix con­tacted North­east­ern be­cause she wanted to par­tic­i­pate in the co-op pro­gram.

“We had a good phone in­ter­view, and then I came here and got to work on La Fonda, which was huge for me,” Ash­ley said. “As a young as­so­ciate start­ing out in a big of­fice, you get stuck do­ing red lines [draft­ing no­ta­tions and cor­rec­tions] or ad­min­is­tra­tive stuff, so this was a great op­por­tu­nity to work on some­thing

im­por­tant and his­toric. It was also per­son­ally cool, be­cause my fam­ily has history at La Fonda. My grand­fa­ther did plas­ter­ing work there in the 1950s and the 1970s, and my grand­par­ents hon­ey­mooned there.”

As part of the La Fonda job, Ash­ley worked with the Na­tional Park Ser­vice on tax cred­its that are avail­able if you’re es­sen­tially restor­ing a his­toric build­ing. In this case, part of the job was to bring the rooms more in line with Fred Har­vey Com­pany ar­chi­tect Mary Colter’s de­sign for the ho­tel in the 1920s. “That was very clean, in­clud­ing col­ored con­crete floors,” she said, “and we took off the 1970s car­pet­ing and re­placed all that lovely or­ange fur­ni­ture. Some peo­ple weren’t happy about us peel­ing back the lay­ers, be­cause they saw that as the his­toric ho­tel.”

Ash­ley said the Felix firm just be­gan con­struc­tion of the last phase of the La Fonda restora­tion. This will be the most pub­licly vis­i­ble, fo­cus­ing on the lobby, the lounge, and the ho­tel’s main cor­ri­dor. The young in­tern has been in­volved in AIA-Santa Fe on var­i­ous lev­els, and she ini­ti­ated the chap­ter’s first Canstruc­tion com­pe­ti­tion, held last sum­mer at Santa Fe Place.

“Canstruc­tion is a na­tion­ally rec­og­nized pro­gram that has raised aware­ness for on­go­ing food-in­se­cu­rity is­sues in New Mex­ico and else­where,” Felix said. “Last year Ash­ley co-founded our first in­au­gu­ral event, which raised more than 8,600 pounds of food.”

In Canstruc­tion, each com­pet­ing team buys hun­dreds or thou­sands of cans of food and uses them to build a colos­sal struc­ture. The food is then do­nated; this event ben­e­fited The Food De­pot. “It was my idea to start this,” Ash­ley said. “It helps The Food De­pot and it helps the com­mu­nity to know about AIA-Santa Fe. I was part of the team for the Zo­zo­bra piece, which won.” Bar­bara Felix Ar­chi­tec­ture + De­sign will have a team in the 2016 event, sched­uled for June. Last year the theme was “Wel­come to New Mex­ico.” This year it’s “TV and Movies.”

Ash­ley, an as­so­ciate mem­ber of AIA, is adamant that ar­chi­tec­ture is not just about sky­scrapers. “It’s a tool to en­no­ble our com­mu­ni­ties and make our en­vi­ron­ments bet­ter places,” she said in our talk at Iconik Cof­fee Roast­ers. “This place wouldn’t be as cool with­out that awesome curved wall and the ex­posed metal roof. And in some­thing like a hos­pi­tal, an ar­chi­tect can make the build­ing more com­fort­able.”

Right now, she’s not think­ing so much about hos­pi­tals or sky­scrapers. She said David Rasch, the city’s his­toric preser­va­tion of­fi­cer, is con­sid­er­ing forming a com­mit­tee to re­jeu­ve­nate Santa Fe’s his­toric code. “I’d love to be a part of that,” Ash­ley said. “Also, grow­ing up in Or­lando, I am at­tracted to the tourism side of ar­chi­tec­ture, which re­lates to bring­ing peo­ple to ar­chi­tec­ture. I would love to do a casino, be­cause you have so much range to do what­ever you want.” — Paul Wei­de­man

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