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Central & Unser – Patrick J. Baca Library

By Edith Cherry and James See – February 22, 2020

Previous names:  Central and Unser Library

1_DSC1764 Cover

Address:  8081 Central Ave. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121

Access: 505-768-4320 |Website

 This handsome public building provides an important cultural focus for the developing West Side of Albuquerque. The limited palette of materials delivers a dignified civic space in a vast expanse of nearby commercial structures.

The entry courtyard that can be used for gatherings and the large interior meeting room invite public use and let the public know that they are welcome here. The covered entry portico leads from the major cross-town bus terminal, north of the Library, to the gracious front door.

Reading areas, study rooms, and conference rooms are filled with well-controlled natural light modulated by a series of horizontal, architectural rails.  Panels that allow natural light at the north and south edges deflect the harsh west sun from the reading room. The high ceiling and relatively low book stacks provide a very open feeling in the main room and allow unobtrusive supervision by the library staff. The variety of seating types provides many choices for patrons of all ages.

Completed:  2015
Architect:  RMKM Architecture, P.C.      
Landscape Architect:  Rick Borkovetz Landscape Architect, LLC.
Contractor: HB Construction       

2015 NAIOP Award
2016 Winner of the Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture
2018 NM AIA Merit, 2015 AIA NM Honor


Public Art:
Beacon (2015; artist: Greg Reiche)

Learn More:

Feature article from NMAF website: https://newmexicoarchitecturalfoundation.org/2015/04/28/central-unser-library/

Opening announcement of library: https://www.cabq.gov/council/find-your-councilor/district-1/news/central-unser-patrick-j-baca-library-now-open-to-the-public

Route 66: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Avenue_(Albuquerque,_New_Mexico)








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