Spaces and Plazas
Sites Southwest worked closely with EPIA and the project engineers to create a colorful and vibrant corridor for Convair Rd. at the El Paso International Airport with a regional flair day and night. Low water and colorful plants create an iconic image of El Paso for residents and travelers who are coming, going or just passing through.
Sites Southwest created visual 3D simulations to provide cutting edge design visualization that enabled the client to clearly see the end result.
Sites Southwest utilized low-voltage state of the art landscape lighting to EPIA which allows for the landscape lighting to be controlled from a smart phone app or a computer screen simply and quickly. Whether travelers or Sun Bowl players are arriving, lights can be changed in seconds to accommodate the team’s colors and then changed back as soon as the next team arrives, even if it is on the next plane. Improvements include wide walkways, street trees, colorful shrubs, decorative screen walls, low water drip irrigation, low voltage landscape lighting and pedestrian rest areas complete with site furnishings that provide a visually interesting opportunity for a little exercise and/or respite.
The Coal Avenue Commons project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town initiative and matched by local funds, will combine local arts and culture to revitalize downtown Gallup. Coal Avenue is the result of years of work by the City of Gallup, McKinley County, gallupARTS, Gallup Main Street and Arts + Culture District, the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, the McCune Foundation, and the state's only Business Improvement District. The goal of this project is to create a flexible, creative, and achievable design with construction-ready documents for an artful, business-friendly, community-inclusive downtown event street, fueled by a robust and innovative public engagement process. It exemplifies a true Creative Placemaking project that seeks long-term social and economic change.
Sites Southwest was commissioned by the City of Las Cruces and the Downtown Partnership to develop a vision and revitalization strategy for the downtown area. The redevelopment strategy included plans for a new civic plaza and government office buildings, as well as attracting specialty retailers and service providers and enhancing downtown’s role as a cultural and arts center. According to the vision, capital improvements included a new city hall, a new Federal Courthouse, and a new main street. The new Main Street features special paving in areas that can be closed off for special events. Permanent shading elements adjacent to the new plaza will allow it to be easily transformed into a pedestrian-friendly environment for major public events.
Graphic visual simulations concepts were used as part of the design process to help community members and policymakers envision the downtown of the future. Sites Southwest also collaborated with LCDT and the City on legislative and other funding strategies.
National Hispanic Cultural Center Memorial Park
Sites Southwest completed the Memorial Park for the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC), as well as the master planning and design of a new Central Plaza and Drop Off (dirt lot) Project. Both projects will connect the Plaza Mayor, the Disney Center for the Performing Arts, the Domenici Education Center, M-Cocina Tucci's Grill, and the parking and walkways that go with them. Along the western edge of campus, Memorial Park is an intimate and quiet space that serves area residents, visitors, and students. Sites Southwest created a plan to revitalize this underutilized site and provide the institution with a much-needed park sheltered between the NHCC campus and the Rio Grande Bosque. Native plantings and the simplicity of forms and materials are used throughout to balance the Cultural Center's programmatic needs with the rich history of the site. The Central Plaza and Drop-off project provide the NHCC with interconnected Moorish plazas and gardens that support pedestrian and vehicular routes while also providing shade and beauty. Sites Southwest's plans have received very positive feedback from both the client and the community.
Sites Southwest was chosen to be a part of the design team for the new NNSA Headquarters at Sandia National Laboratories. This massive project includes a multi-story office and research facility that collaborates directly with the Labs. LEED Gold certification was obtained for the project.
Sites Southwest created the initial site plan in collaboration with the architects and civil engineers, which includes outdoor employee breakout and break areas, an entry plaza, trail connections and multimodal facilities, an employee walking trail, and low-impact-design infrastructure for managing stormwater runoff. Our team developed innovative and detailed interventions to create a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing landscape that meets the project's various programmatic, security, and LEED requirements.
City of El Paso Stanton Point of Entry Facility
Sites Southwest provided urban design and landscape architectural services for the Stanton Bridge Improvement in collaboration with WH Pacific. The scope of work includes the design of a pedestrian plaza to serve as a public gathering place for people traveling to and from Mexico via the bridge.
The plaza design incorporates vernacular elements such as mosaic tile, murals, terra cotta style planters, and a local plant palette. The plaza's canopy trees, vine armatures, and shade structures are designed to make it comfortable in all seasons. The construction of a 3D digital model to place shade elements so that they do not interfere with critical surveillance viewsheds was addressed as a national security concern.
Sun Metro BRT
Two hundred and sixteen bus stops in El Paso were in desperate need of repair. Sun Metro and the civil engineers chosen for the project were assisted by Sites Southwest in updating the facilities, including new landscaping.
The size, amenities, and challenges of the existing stops varied. Site designers collaborated with engineers and city staff to categorize bus stops and create prototype designs for handicap accessibility, shelter size, amenities, and landscaping. Sites was able to provide landscaping to a large portion of the sites using the prototype, meeting Sun Metro's goal. Sites Southwest also created a strong, yet affordable and attractive Lithocrete paver with the Sun Metro logo out of recycled glass.
UNM Valencia Campus Upgrades
In order to provide a more appealing and engaging learning environment, UNM is looking to modernize its Valencia Campus and improve its outdoor spaces. According to studies, an aesthetically pleasing campus with functional and appealing outdoor spaces can effectively serve as a marketing tool, increasing the campus's appeal to potential students.
Under their on-call contract, SSW collaborated with Vigil & Associates to design a series of improvements to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Our primary focus was on improving common areas between buildings and connecting the campus's pedestrian-friendly core to a new high-use parking area on the campus's southwest corner.
The current construction phase focuses on two areas: constructing a shaded pedestrian corridor connecting the West Parking Lot to the Health Sciences and Adult Education buildings, and constructing a stepped, shaded, multi-use plaza and new access point on the west side of the Student Center/Student Union Building.
UTEP Engineering Building
Sites Southwest was chosen to work with the architect on the design of the outdoor plaza for the UTEP Engineering Building addition. Sites Southwest designed decorative yet functional steps and integrated dual-purpose planters that can be used for amphitheater seating for small outdoor events in this sunken plaza. This lovely space includes custom-designed gabion benches and trash cans, turf grass, flowering trees, low-water, colorful plants, and patterned and pigmented concrete. These features enhance the pedestrian connection between buildings and the plaza and serve as a focal point for outdoor learning opportunities.
The master plan for the Los Lunas Transportation Center includes master planning, design, and construction. The master plan builds on three previous plans for the area that were initiated in 2006. Sites Southwest was hired in 2013 to master plan the Transportation Center district, with an emphasis on land use planning. Following the planning phase, our team focused on the Village Center’s urban design, which included a Rio Metro bus hub for Valencia County, an event space and concert venue, a plaza, centralized parking, and mixed use with retail and residential uses. Sites Southwest then designed the new plaza, drop off, Rio Metro Hub, and connections to parking, the Rail Runner, and other site features in addition to the master plan. Since then, we’ve planned the area around the center as a metropolitan redevelopment area that prioritizes redevelopment, and the Village has purchased more land. The Master Plan was updated in 2018 as a result of these changes. By identifying land use and urban design recommendations, Sites Southwest aided the Village’s vision of creating “a vibrant, walkable Village Center that serves local residents and visitors, provides a variety of attainable housing options, promotes economic development, and supports increased Rail Runner and transit ridership.”