2011 Winner - Barcelona Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM

Baker Architecture + Design. Albuquerque, NM

The Barcelona Elementary School Classroom Building Addition for the Albuquerque Public School system is phase one of a two phase project. Designed as an exciting and functional facility, which promotes creativity and is conducive to teaching and learning, Barcelona Elementary School was the first building in the state of New Mexico to receive USGBC LEED For Schools, Gold Certification. The 980 square foot classrooms, which house 4th and 5th grade students, were designed to be spacious, quiet and naturally lit. These large classrooms, which were requested by the user group, allow for various furniture layouts, reduce overcrowding and can facilitate project-based learning. The solar orientation and natural daylighting strategies had the most profound effect on the building’s design. The site constraints required a north-south alignment and east-west exposures which can be difficult in New Mexico’s climate. The architecture responds with 10’ deep portals on the east and west sides, and large north-facing light monitors in every classroom which bring natural light into the back of the room. The Art/Music Classroom serves a second function as an important gathering space for local community events and is designed as a prominent neighborhood landmark. Since the Barcelona campus has a very limited area, it was especially important that the building be integrated into the site in a non-intrusive way. The bifurcated building footprint strengthens the existing circulation artery from the playground to the field through the new breezeway. The design also provides a safe and sheltered waiting area for students at the pick-up / drop-off area.

The Jury also chose to formally recognize with Honorable Mention two other entries. These include two projects: Gallery 1022, Architect (Edward Fitzgerald), Santa Fe County Public Works Complex (Michael Freeman). The Jury also gave a Citation to Villa Marquette, Architect (RMKM).

2011 Jury

Steve Badanes, University of Washington
Linda Beaumont, Seattle, WA
Suby Bowden, Suby Bowden + Associates
Geraldine Forbes Isais, UNM
Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles, CA
Hillary Noll, UNM