FBT Architects

Jicarilla Apache Community Wellness Center

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Jicarilla Apache Community Wellness Center

Dulce, NM

The Jicarilla Community Wellness Center project is a new 100,000 sf replacement facility for the Jicarilla Apache Nation with a focus on creating healthy spaces—inside and out—and a civic center for the community.

With the client directive to create large beautiful spaces for the community to gather, the design team carefully chose materials and forms to create the house where the Jicarilla Apache community could come together to express their culture. The design of the facility is organized along a central circulation concourse that functionally connects all major facility spaces and creates a multi-use exhibition and gathering space for the community. The new center responds to the cultural context of the Jicarilla Apache Nation by promoting a circular entry element with an east-facing entrance. The scale, forms and design expressions are responsive to the local and cultural vernacular with the use of stone veneer for durability and metal roofs for the high-altitude location. A high solar value glazing system provides abundant daylighting while controlling glare and providing energy efficiency.

The project incorporates four major community functions – a fully-equipped natatorium with a competition pool, a leisure and therapy pool; multi-use gymnasium with full-size basketball courts and two full-sized side courts, volleyball courts, upper level running track; eight-lane bowling alley with a youth center and a multipurpose event center for community functions, conferences, performing arts, conventions and more.

Tree-lined trails with rest areas and prescriptive plantings surround the grounds, along with fitness stations to encourage outdoor activity in addition to the wellness services inside the building. A park with a stage and amphitheater in the southeast corner of the site provides a venue for community gatherings, powwows and other large events.

Design Vision

The initial studies for the Jicarilla Apache Nation’s new community and wellness center – The Sun, The Mountain and The River.

Through a series of design workshops, the River concept was chosen to develop the final design.


We wanted a large, iconic and beautiful state-of the art community center—and we got it. The facility showcases what the Jicarilla Apache community offers, is open and inviting to all visitors and leaves a positive impression…It’s so gratifying as a member of the community to come together and see that everybody shares that same passion we have for our project.

Leon Reval, Former Council Member, Jicarilla Apache Nation

  • 100,000 sf
  • Architecture
  • Interiors
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Sustainable Design
  • Natatorium With Competition & Recreation Pools
  • Four Full-Size Courts
  • Indoor Running Track
  • Bowling Alley
  • Climbing Wall
  • Youth Center
  • Community Event Center
  • Outdoor Amphitheater
  • Prescription Trail
  • 2021, Eagle Award, Community | Civic | Public – Large, NAIOP Awards of Excellence