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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An unconventional residence called Modern Ruin outside Santa Fe and a classroom building at the University of New Mexico’s Gallup campus were the top design award winners at the recent convention of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Eight projects were recognized with architectural design awards at the annual state convention held Sept. 13-15 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. About 80 architects and others attended the awards banquet, where members Terrance J. Brown and Allan T. Baer also were recognized.

The Albuquerque Police Department’s Northwest Area Command substation, completed in 2010, utilized a similar design theme to align with a fire station next door that was built earlier. (Courtesy of Kirk Gittings)

The Albuquerque Police Department’s Northwest Area Command substation, completed in 2010, utilized a similar design theme to align with a fire station next door that was built earlier. (Courtesy of Kirk Gittings)

An honor award winner, Modern Ruin is a contemporary, 2,500-square-foot residence and studio workshop in Agua Fria village designed by Alexander Dzurec of Santa Fe in collaboration with owner Zane Fischer. Major structural components include rammed earth and concrete with rusty steel cladding.

“The overarching goal is to convey a modern ruin – clean, elegant form with a weathered hand-hewn feel,” the project profile says.

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Also winning an honor award is UNM’s 37,192-square-foot, two-story technology center and classroom building in Gallup, which is built on a steep slope in a U-shape around a sheltered sunken patio. The building has gold certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green-building program.

An honor award winner, Modern Ruin is a contemporary, 2,500-square-foot residence and studio workshop in Agua Fria village designed by Alexander Dzurec. (Courtesy of Alexander Dzurec)

An honor award winner, Modern Ruin is a contemporary, 2,500-square-foot residence and studio workshop in Agua Fria village designed by Alexander Dzurec. (Courtesy of Alexander Dzurec)

Designed by Mark Rohde of RMKM Architecture in Albuquerque, the project profile says, “The architecture presents a dynamic relationship of building and site while massing boldly expresses the program.”

Four projects were awarded statewide citations of merit:

  • The 3,017-square-foot Freeman House in Corrales, which has an attached 1,370-square-foot garage, has the distinction of platinum LEED certification. Designed by Michael J. Krupnick of Santa Fe, one of the goals was a “humble” design that fits in the local setting of the Corrales sand hills.

“It’s designed to be highly energy- and resource-efficient yet it was equally important that the technology and function not overwhelm the sense of home,” the project profile says.

The contemporary Freeman House in Corrales was designed to be beautiful but unpretentious with high energy efficiency. (Courtesy of Michael Krupnick)

The contemporary Freeman House in Corrales was designed to be beautiful but unpretentious with high energy efficiency. (Courtesy of Michael Krupnick)

  • The 26,345-square-foot, one-story Northwest Area Command/Michael R. King and Richard W. Smith Jr. Substation, which is the Albuquerque Police Department’s largest substation, is on track for gold LEED certification. The architect was Don H. May of RMKM, and the contractor was T.A. Cole & Sons Inc.

According to the project profile, the building was designed to emphasize “APD’s mission for connection and accessibility between the surrounding community, all the while strong block walls send a message of strength and stability.”

  • The city of Bloomfield’s 21,500-square-foot, three-story building to house the Police Department, municipal courts and Motor Vehicle Division office was designed to be user-friendly for the public without compromising security. The architect was Don H. May of RMKM, and the contractor was Jaynes Corp. of Albuquerque.
Centennial High School in Las Cruces was designed to provide its roughly 2,400 students with a sense of community and identity. (Courtesy of Patrick Coulie)

Centennial High School in Las Cruces was designed to provide its roughly 2,400 students with a sense of community and identity. (Courtesy of Patrick Coulie)

“The design provides the city with a public service beacon visible throughout much of the city and beyond,” the project profile says.

  • Centennial High School in Las Cruces is comprised of eight buildings with 370,000 gross square feet of space on 72 acres. The architect was ASA Architects of Las Cruces, and the general contractor was Gerald Martin of Albuquerque.

“The campus layout, comprised of separate buildings creating a series of outdoor courtyards, takes advantage of the favorable climate, minimizes indoor circulation and results in a strong sense of place,” the project profile says.

Also at the AIA New Mexico’s awards banquet, special design recognition was given to the 3,318-square-foot White Rock Visitor Center in Los Alamos County, designed by Mullen Heller Architecture of Albuquerque, and an unbuilt office building in Las Cruces designed by Armando Lopez of Las Cruces.

As for individual awards, Brown, a Corrales resident, was given the silver medal for lifetime achievement in the practice of architecture, the highest award that the chapter can bestow on a member.

This 21,500-square-foot building in Bloomfield, which houses the city Police Department, municipal courts and Motor Vehicle Division office, was designed as a “public service beacon.” (Courtesy of Kirk Gittings)

This 21,500-square-foot building in Bloomfield, which houses the city Police Department, municipal courts and Motor Vehicle Division office, was designed as a “public service beacon.” (Courtesy of Kirk Gittings)

“His career exemplifies the highest caliber of integrity, honor and willingness to help others,” one of the judges was quoted as saying in the award presentation.

Raised in Montana, Brown served in the Army during the Vietnam War, flying more than 100 helicopter missions and earning a Bronze Star. A Texas Tech graduate, he has been a practicing architect in New Mexico for more than 35 years. His public and professional service has been extensive.

Baer, a Santa Fe resident, was awarded the architects medal, which recognizes an AIA New Mexico member for advancing the practice of architecture, professional achievement and social responsibility. For the past two decades, Baer has been active at different levels in the AIA organization.

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