Architecture group honors projects

December 18, 2017 - Steve Sinovic

Eight projects were recognized with architectural design awards at the recent convention of the New Mexico chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The chapter’s top 2017 Honor Awards were given to Baker Architecture + Design for the Ernie Pyle Middle School sixth-grade building and the McCaffrey Historic Trolley Building at New Mexico Highlands University; and Vigil & Associates Architectural Group for renovation of La Posada Dining Hall at the University of New Mexico.

“We were impressed with the economy of means of the fundamental diagram of this project, ” the project profile says of the Ernie Pyle award winner. “Lifting the building creates a new public space while maintaining visual connection to the fields.”

Two projects won the chapter’s Merit Awards: Lee Gamelsky Architects for Albuquerque Public Schools’ Career Enrichment Center; and Atkin Olshin Schade Architects for the Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm.

The project profile for APS’ Career Enrichment Center reads: “This addition transforms a generic warehouse (into a) new multifunctional collective space to create a new nexus for an existing school.”

Three projects received citations of merit: Jon Anderson Architects for the residence of Jon Anderson and Laura Daby and the residence of Chris and Renee Patton; and Ane Gonzalez Lara and Tucker Douglas for unbuilt project called Stitch Narvik.

“The loft-like interior reanimates a redux bungalow,” the project profile says of the Anderson/Daby residence.

The awards program was held Dec. 8 at the Canyon Club at Four Hills. Jury chairwoman was Margaret Griffin, a partner with Griffin Enright Architects in Los Angeles.

Speaking of the award winners, Griffin said, “Many of them are projects that strategically do a lot with a little, but all of them had a clear design idea that was excuted with material finesse.”

Nob Hill realty firm doubles as visitor center

Re/Max Select recently opened a second office location in Nob Hill at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Tim Keller. In conjunction with the expansion, Re/Max Select partnered with reDiscover Nob Hill and Nob Hill Main Street to launch the Nob Hill Visitors Center, which is located in the new office space.

“At Re/Max Select, we believe in giving back to our community and investing in the local businesses,” said Jessica Beecher, Re/Max Select owner. “We are very excited to open the new office and visitor center to provide local residents and tourists a place to learn about Nob Hill, the neighborhood’s unique history and the businesses on historic Route 66.”

The center will feature a variety of resources including brochures, walking tours, coupons to Nob Hill businesses and information on events. Additional amenities include an interactive map that allow visitors to explore Nob Hill and the greater Albuquerque area virtually; a complimentary coffee and tea bar and access to computers and printers.

The new office and visitor center, at 3401 Central NE in the former Red Wing shoe store, will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s electrifying

When you go to a national park like the Grand Canyon, it’s easy to take for granted conveniences like electricity and running water. But getting power and water to such remote locations is a major feat, and one Albuquerque company just won a national award for it.

VA Electric, Inc. snagged the Independent Electrical Contractors 2017 National Award of Excellence in Electrical Construction for its work on the Grand Canyon Indian Garden HVAC Improvements Project.

The project was at the South Rim, which is home to the National Park Service training base, as well as numerous national landmark buildings. It receives more than 5 million visitors each year.

VA Electric’s crew had to hike five miles into the canyon to get to the work site. They lived in tents on site during the work week, dealing with the realities of life in the canyon 24/7. On top of that, most of their equipment had to be flown in by a National Park Service helicopter. “VA Electric was honored to work on such an important project at one of America’s greatest treasures and one of the world’s largest tourist destinations,” said co-owner Don Aragon.

Steve Sinovic is the Albuquerque Journal’s real estate reporter. He can be reached at or by calling 505-823-3919.