Van H. Gilbert Architect PC

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Centennial Engineering Center
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Located on the western edge of the University, the design of the Centennial Engineering Center reflects UNM’s historical ‘pueblo revival’ design roots and functions as a cutting-edge research facility. The 115,000 square foot Center, planned as an interdisciplinary instructional and research facility, houses the departments of Civil, Electrical, Chemical, Nuclear, and Biomedical Engineering. The building design furthers the Center’s functional flexibility with two large lab blocks in an uninterrupted modular arrangement and two narrower wings of offices and instructional space. An interior open courtyard and two entry towers define the engineering complex as a new campus doorway welcoming visitors to the campus. The transparent student/faculty lounge adjacent to the entry has views to the newly landscaped green area and interior courtyard.

In a series of design charrettes it was decided to organize the building around working courtyards and gathering spaces. This arrangement served to bring all engineering disciplines together to facilitate an engineering education beyond the confines of the classroom.

Sustainable features include water conservation, abundant natural light, solar shading on the southeast and west windows, high performance glazing, and multi-level switching and controllable lighting. Exterior lighting is compliant with New Mexico Night Sky Laws so that light spill is limited. Recycled materials were used to the greatest extent possible.

Van H. Gilbert Architect PC worked in association with Shepley Bulfinch of Boston.

  • 2008 Outstanding Public Project - Best of New Mexico Southwest Contractor Magazine