Van H. Gilbert Architect PC

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James Monroe Middle School (Phase I and II)
Albuquerque Public Schools

The James Monroe Middle School site, situated in the midst of an ancient lava flow, presented significant design challenges; 175,000 cubic yards or earth were brought in and compacted to raise the site and four foot to cover the basalt. The school design is a fusion of traditional pueblo building elements, such as, battered walls, natural rock, and deep set windows interpreted in a contemporary design idiom. The building scale is broken down by the stepped building components and the juxtaposition of masonry, brick, and stone. The school is designed in a horseshoe configuration, oriented to the east. Solid walls on the west side of the school provide a protected courtyard for multifunctional activities. The school is organized around five “families” of approximately 150 students for a total of 750 students.

  • 2002 Project of Distinction, Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI)