Max was born in Chicago, IL and spent his childhood in St. Joseph, MI sailing and exploring the area's many Frank Lloyd Wright homes. His middle school, high school and early college years were spent in the Sarasota/Tampa, FL coast area. He then settled in his adopted state of New Mexico. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of New Mexico including foreign exchange semesters at Xi'an University in China and Taliesin West (The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture) in Phoenix, AZ. After graduate school, Max mentored with Architect Bart Prince. Max specialized in physical model making and model restoration under Bart's employ. Max states that "...working directly with Bart to bring those models to life in three dimensions was the greatest post-graduate architectural education I could have hoped to receive." Max's varied construction experience began in his adolescence and includes building large boat docks in Florida, manning a concrete construction crew at The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in Colorado, roof repair at The Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet, repair and restoration at Bart Prince Studio, and full construction of the home in which he and his wife now reside. Other fun facts about Max: he put himself through college and graduate school as, and continues to be, an accomplished tattoo artist, "...tattooing funded my early architecture habit." When he's not working in the studio, you'll find Max cooking, practicing yoga, mountain biking, and spending time with his family.
MAX VASHER STUDIO
Max Vasher Architect LLC specializes in custom residential, vacation rental and custom commercial design. Located in the high desert northern foothills of the Sandia Mountains, Max's atelier is located in Placitas, New Mexico within the Studio/Home (named 'Jin Zhu') that he designed and built with his own bare hands. Clients are encouraged to visit Max at the studio as part of the design process. This studio's practice is one that caters exclusively to clients that seek a direct relationship with both architect and the spaces they aspire to have designed. The interview process and the program of each individual client becomes the foundation of each composition. Each composition is a synthesis of site, sustainability, occupant, budget, and material.
Max Vasher's design approach is most influenced by the ideas associated with Organic Architecture as originally outlined by Frank Lloyd Wright. Combined with a contemporary knowledge of sustainable design, Max finds Organic Architecture as the ideal starting place in which we can weave our knowledge of sustainable design practices. For instance, he uses passive heating and cooling design as energy-wise solutions to living but he also uses passive design to create dramatic plays of structure, light and air throughout the seasons. In Max's design paradigm, sustainable design becomes an opportunity rather than a hidden goal.
Design wise, Organic Architecture and Modernism have mingling roots. While Organic Architecture embraces the sensibilities of modernism it further seeks an intimate marriage of structure and site unbound by the rigid geometries often associated with modernism. Rather, Organic Architecture weaves together a synthesis of site and structure. Every moment, every movement; the experience of the occupant is one where the interior space pays fealty to the exterior space which cradles it. Organic Architecture chooses from the pantheon of geometries seen in the natural world rather than being restricted by the shapes of material products. This extends from overall plan to small engineering detail. Like a fractal, the principle of each design is reflected throughout its multitude of parts both micro and macro. Max sums this practice up by defining it simply as "...creative problem solving with a mission."
The mission aspect to this design approach is simple. By creating an architectural experience that engages our senses, our surroundings, our very world, we elevate the contemporary human appreciation of the planet as a whole.
"Architecture that promotes awareness of its surroundings and pays respect to the piece of earth that lends itself to a building is a necessary and precious reminder to be stewards of this beautiful planet and to revel in that beauty with both purpose and abandon." -Max Vasher