By Edith Cherry and James See – May 22, 2020
Address: 10800 Dennis Chavez Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87121
Access: Visitors must check in at the school office. (505) 243-1458
The architecture of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is as bold and proud as were the original settlers of the Atrisco Land Grant given by King Philip II of Spain to colonists in 1598 to farm the land and establish a foothold for the Spanish crown in New Mexico. The school design seeks to be open to the Atrisco community while maintaining the delicate balance of security for the students. For example, a clinic, the gym and the theater are near the main entry on the southwest side. The majority of classrooms are on the northeast side away from the public entrance and facing the Sandia Mountains.
The site presented numerous challenges such as an 85-foot drop from west to east and no opportunity for entry onto Dennis Chavez Boulevard, a future thoroughfare. The slope of the site is accommodated by staggering the building blocks up the hill, stacked atop one another. Ramps and interior elevators provide complete accessibility for the handicapped.
In keeping with Hispanic urban tradition, the plaza provides the major social space for the complex, in this case, a strong diagonal from northwest to southeast.
The color palette consists of a variety of earth tones with some cool color accents executed in stucco, pierced panels, split-face concrete block, and corrugated metal. The library, a dramatic block bridging the entry, is faced with aluminum louvers for daylight control.
Design Architect: Perkins + Will
Executive Architect: FBT Architects
Landscape Architect: MRWM
Contractors: Gerald Martin (Phase I and II); McCarthy (Phase III)
2009 National School Board Association (NSBA) Exhibition of School Architecture Grand Prize Award
2009 Design Concept Award, Council of Educational Facilities Planners International
2010 Award of Excellence – Education, NAIOP
2010 Best of 2010 Award, Southwest Contractor
2012 Excellence in Construction, Associated Builders & Contractors
2013 Best Building – $10-20 million, Association of General Contractors, NM
A Brief History of the Atrisco Land Grant: https://aha.aps.edu/about
Arch Daily Article: https://www.archdaily.com/162807/atrisco-heritage-academy-perkinswill-and-fbt-architects/
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