Central New Mexico community college
Westside I

Design Plus, in collaboration with Gould Evans Phoenix, was selected to design a new student resource center for CNM’s Westside campus. Taking cues from the site, which is located on Albuquerque’s west mesa, the building frames expansive views of the Rio Grande valley and the Sandia Mountains to the east while embedding itself into the high desert landscape. The third building on the site, it serves as a ‘hub’ for the campus providing support systems for students and a backdrop for student activities.

Learning happens when the students are comfortable, when opportunities for interaction between peers and mentors are seamlessly embedded in casual movement through spaces and when physical and status quo barriers are removed. To achieve this, we removed all the corridors from the design.  All circulation spaces are also study, meeting, hang-out, contemplative spaces.  This palette of space was further expanded by organizing this split-level building around a central, sheltered courtyard and wide patio / balcony with a variety of seating options. Main circulation flow of the building at intermediate level goes through the open LRC and café. 

This openness in organization is further enhanced by a mostly-transparent exterior envelope which provides visual connection to the outdoors and other parts of the building. An exterior layer of perforated metal screen provides privacy and reduces the heat load from the high desert sun by approximately 30% while constantly changing to reflect the dramatic light and landscape variations throughout the day. The building incorporates a geo-thermal well system as well as roof-mounted solar PV system. Carefully modulated acoustic consideration provides a quiet but lively ambiance to this open plan organization. 


university of new mexico
logan haLL NEUROSCIENCE core

Design Plus  was contracted in 2009 to create a comprehensive A&E programming and schematic design package for the second floor of Logan Hall at the UNM Main Campus.

As an existing facility, Logan Hall presented a number of challenges including: a lack of natural light, an inefficient building envelope, existing mechanical systems at the end of their lifespan, disjointed interior spaces, outdated / damaged finishes (a complete ‘gut’ of the affected interiors was required), and the requirement to achieve LEED CI ‘Silver’ certification within budget and schedule. All work was required to be performed while occupancy and research continued in adjacent areas and within the floor below.

The building footprint was rigid (a rectangle with a ‘donut’ corridor), and animal research areas were required to remain in the center portion of the floor plan. Design Plus worked within these constraints to create a collaborative office and research-type environment that is flexible,
efficient, and has been extremely well received by the end users, the University, and NIH. 


albuquerque public schools
rio grande high school isp facility

As a result the new 28,000 SF stand alone facility is designed to meet the special needs of the large Intensive Support Program, the School Nurse and School Based Health Clinic. The ISP population includes severely medically fragile students, students with a variety of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other developmental disorders. The new location on campus for the SBHC makes this resource easier for the school community and their families to access services and provides more privacy for students who seek medical and health assistance.

The building program was changed from a remodel of an existing, 50 year old building into creating a unique flagship facility in the Southwest for students with special needs. Design Plus was able to successfully meet difficult program requirements, a difficult schedule, and site limitations with an innovative design solution.The project received LEED Silver Certification.


Albuquerque Public Schools Aztec special education complex

The Aztec Special Education Complex is the first of its type in the nation with more than 65,000 square feet of intensive special needs space for students pre-kindergarten to age 22 who are medically fragile, or who have autism or other special needs.

The $22 million facility provides core resources and ancillary space to serve more than half of the state’s students who have the most severe special needs and their families. 

The school was designed and built using the most current technology, research and best practices. Classrooms support teachers and students for optimal learning experiences with right-sized equipment such as adjustable desks, chairs on wheels, and low tables. Outside are two accessible playgrounds. The cafeteria promotes Life Skills lessons such as cooking, serving and cleaning.