Tres Volcanes Community Collaborative School is the second iteration of a new K through 8 model based on the prototype design of George I. Sanchez School to support Albuquerque’s growing northwest community. The School District requested a collaborative pedagogical model to support cross-curricular and cross-disciplinary instruction with a philosophy regarding technology and common collaborative space as omnipresent through the school both instructionally and manifested physically in the campus design. The school is meant to blend elementary and middle school to celebrate the differences and commonalities between age groups to foster an environment of mentorship and community.
The design parti is based on a grapevine with the stem nourishing a series of grape leaves which in themselves are micro-communities of cells. The school is laid out along a two-story central circulation concourse running north/south with a full-length mechanical penthouse above. The spine acts as the armature for all building systems including rooftop solar panels. Each ‘grape leaf’ is then designed with flexible classrooms outlining shared workspaces of varying degrees of intimacy dispersed within to provide opportunities for learning in many modes whether small intimate groups, individual study, or large group team-teaching.
The design sought to echo the mystique of the neighboring three inactive volcanoes and surrounding landscape of dark basalt and white mineral deposits in its exterior materials. Color is then injected into interior corridors and hallways as an abstraction of active student energy and lava flow. The colors act as wayfinding devices to color code each wing. This manifestation of the play on the site’s geology led to the name of the school as well as its “Magma” mascot.

Albuquerque, NM

217,000 SF

Pre-K - 8th School

Jon Anderson, FAIA

Project Manager:
James Lucero, AIA

General Contractor:
Bradbury Stamm Construction Inc.

Kirk Gittings

2020 Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture
2019 AIA Western Mountain Region Design Excellence Citation Award
2019 AIA New Mexico Design Merit Award