Edmund A. Boniface III moved to Northern New Mexico over forty years ago where he was immediately captivated by the rugged mountains, forests, streams and adobe architecture of the Mora valley. During that time, he lived in what had once been a Penitente Morada. He learned the art of blacksmithing and how to shoe horses from some of the old patrons whose families had settled in those high mountain valleys almost three hundred years ago. It was during that time he discovered he had a gift for training horses. He was soon being asked to do that for other people in the area. Living in Northern New Mexico not only taught him self-reliance but more importantly, it taught him a deep respect for the people who make a living from the land with their hands.
His life in Northern New Mexico also taught him an appreciation of sustainable, green architecture – long before those became common catch phrases. When you live off the land as the people around him did in Ledoux, you build with local materials like adobe from your land and lumber from your local mill – or recycle old beams from an abandoned cabin into the ceiling of your new home. You build using passive solar to heat and cool your home. You build with ease of maintenance in mind. These are all common sense ideas which are now called “GREEN, SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE”.
Three years later, he moved to Madrid, where he started the Volunteer Fire Department and then served as Chairman of the Town Council. It was during that time that he explored a series of different careers – as a silversmith, cabinet maker, working on a framing crew and building adobe homes.
What these experiences had in common was creating something where there had been nothing before – whether it was designing a beautiful silver clasp or building a house with his own hands. However, what he was craving was something to challenge him on both a creative and intellectual level. That is how he was drawn to architecture. Architecture can be both poetic and pragmatic. His architectural practice allows him to design and build beautiful buildings, while at the same time exploring design theories such as how people are affected by light & space or how the proportion and size a of room directly affects the mood of its occupants.