Celebrating Alfred Collins von Bachmayr


Alfred Collins von Bachmayr was not only an innovator and craftsman, he was also a great friend to the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. Almost from SFCM’s inception Alfred was a presence, always ready to lend a hand and jump in – ¬†whether it be teaching a class, thinking of new and imaginative ways to evolve the outdoor Earthworks garden, or sparking excitement for building in most everyone he worked alongside.

As an architect, Alfred made a name for himself with his unique approach to designing passive solar structures, as well as founding the Affordable Housing Alliance in Boulder, CO. Throughout his career he worked tirelessly to create innovative low-income housing options for those in need. He went on to win national recognition for his work with Habitat for Humanity in Santa Fe. In the 1990s he co-founded Builders Without Borders, a group dedicated to natural building, such as straw bale and adobe. And these are only SOME of his innumerable accomplishments.

The Santa Fe Children’s Museum and many graduates of our summer YCC program were fortunate to work with Alfred on a number of projects – the most ambitious of which is our now iconic cottonwood stump amphitheater, and his influence was far reaching and contagious.

SFCM Facilities Manager, Jesse Barlett, who builds many of SFCM’s exhibits originally worked with Alfred in 2007 when he was a youth volunteer. “Alfred turned me on to so many cool things about design, in many ways, he’s the one who¬†originally sparked my interest in building.”

Last week we freshened up the garden and installed a beautiful plaque in Alfred’s honor – we were so fortunate to know him and learn from him. Thank you, Alfred.



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