The Bosque School – Schoolhouse Building designed by Rohde May Keller McNamara Architecture, P.C. is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. RMKM designed a new high school and head-of-school administration building for Albuquerque’s Bosque School with goals of the building ‘fitting in’ with its context, providing a warm and inviting first impression, and projecting a bold, dignified symbol of educational excellence. A pristine Rio Grande preserve and existing masonry buildings establish the project’s context. The Schoolhouse Building responds with locally-produced burnished concrete masonry units, glu-lam wood columns and beams, a palate of recycled materials that reflects its natural setting, and lighting strategies that harness the abundance of Southwestern light.
The plan organises spaces around a linear high-bay, sloped roof space that arranges special program areas and faculty office pods in an ‘interactive zone.’ A continuous clerestory monitor caps this high-bay, providing a luminous common reference throughout the building. Daylight floods classrooms located on the building’s perimeter, from which students spill into the schoolhouse interior to connect with faculty in their offices, the technology reading room, and computer pods. With emphasis on a broad dialogue, the Bosque School welcomes a variety of visitors – including parents, prospective students, college admissions representatives, and potential donors in its ‘reception / living room.’ A central fireplace serving both the ‘living room’ and a group study area emits a warm first impression of the Bosque School and reinforces the spirit of community – a key component of the school’s mission.
Education at the Bosque School extends beyond buildings to include the entire bosque as an ‘outdoor classroom.’ In addition to establishing a prominent gateway entrance and campus edge, the Schoolhouse’s strategic placement establishes a protected pedestrian open space between buildings that unifies the campus and encourages use of this ‘outdoor classroom.’ The Schoolhouse roof integrates a water collection system that feeds the campus pond – a resting place for birds of the Rio Grande Flyway.