Architect: Perkins+Will, FBT Architects
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Project Team: Eric Brossy de Dios, Angela Kunz, Ann Knudsen, Charlene Martin, Kevin Mereness, Ashley Stoner, Nathan Wilcox
Executive Architects: Fanning Bard Tatum Architects AIA, Ltd.
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: New York Focus Photography
A collaboration between Perkins+Will and FBT Architects, the Atrisco Heritage Academy features a set of autonomous school buildings, unified by a common pedestrian plaza. Located on the gently sloping southwest mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico, this innovative high school campus strives to safeguard the community’s past, with an eye toward the future in a rapidly changing environment. Accordingly, the campus architecture and interiors boast colors and murals that represent the unique cultural heritage of the community with a modern appeal. This 60 acre campus site serves to ignite development in this growing community.
The planning and design phase was based on a joint process which included representatives from the district’s education leadership and facilities departments, community groups, and most importantly high school students. As a result, the campus consists of career academies organized into three distinct buildings. Each academy has planning and activity space internally and externally to promote hands on work.
The notion of preserving the natural landscape was a primary goal in planning and design. The site, visible from the entire downtown Albuquerque community and outlying areas, will serve as a focal point in the changing landscape. The campus provides many societal function, and defines a true purposeful community center.
The campus serves the needs of 3,100 students, with flexible classrooms to accommodate for future changes in curricular needs. The school responds thoughtfully and is committed to addressing the real needs and opportunities of each high school student and educational team member. Moreover, the open campus and common areas provide dynamic places for people of all backgrounds to congregate and learn.
The career academies at Atrisco Heritage Academy will stress academic success in core subject while providing hands-on career experiences by creating partnerships with local higher education campuses and the surrounding community. These partnerships will help to ensure students are better prepared for college and careers by including programs such as an on-site student-run bank. In 2009, the Atrisco Heritage Academy High School was unanimously selected as the grand prize winner of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Exhibition of School Architecture.