Albuquerque BioPark Zoo Playground
Groundwork Studio teamed with Exerplay and Landscape Structures Inc. to design and build this custom playground for the Albuquerque Zoo. The playground replaces an old climbing structure that was causing maintenance and safety hazards. This one-of-a-kind structure responds to the zoo’s request for a lookout tower, adventure and nature themes and layers of play opportunities.
The playground includes play options for 2-5 year olds and 5-12 year olds, with areas separated by a blue resilient surface “river.” Custom and hand-painted fiber reinforced concrete hippo and crocodile heads peer up from the water and provide playful stepping stones. Multiple landing levels give children unique views of the adjacent giraffe and elephant exhibits, while providing diverse options for climbing, crawling, spinning and jumping. Parents can rest on log or acorn shaped seats surrounding the equipment.
The design-build format allowed it to be completed on a fast track basis, critical for projects in which construction is occurring in the midst of an active recreational facility. Once the overall design was approved, Groundwork Studio worked quickly to complete construction documents to meet the pace of construction – providing demolition and grading drawings first and coordinating equipment and surfacing colors to ensure rapid product ordering and delivery. Our team worked collaboratively to detail the transition between existing fencing and new, as well as fine grading to ensure drainage while maintaining code compliant fall heights.
Employee Spotlight With Vanessa Garcia
Vanessa is a licensed architect and joined our team in November 2021 with over 17 years of valuable experience. Her current focus is in our Higher Education Studio, but she is a well-rounded architect with experience designing for office buildings, K-12 education, community centers and nursing homes. What motivated you to get in this field […]
ABF’s 40 Under 40: Renn Halstead hopes to design the next big goal of his career as an architect
Renn Halstead said a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into getting him to where he is today. Halstead made it through graduate school at the University of New Mexico as a single father. With that, he considers becoming a licensed architect his greatest professional achievement. Now an associate architect with FBT Architects — the youngest […]
International District Urban Agriculture Plan Selected Design for the Common Good Exhibition
Groundwork Studio and Bernalillo County are excited to announce the International District Urban Agriculture Plan project was selected to be a part of the Design for the Common Good International Exhibition. The exhibit is currently running at the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art through March 19, 2022. Project submissions from the Rocky Mountain West and […]
2021 NAIOP Awards
We’re proud to have three projects honored at the 2021 NAIOP Awards! Thank you to all the teams whose hard work made these projects successful. Eagle Award for Excellence The Jicarilla-Apache Wellness Center UNM Johnson Center Renovation and Expansion Award of Merit CNM Marketplace Jicarilla-Apache Wellness Center – Eagle Award of Excellence The Jicarilla-Apache […]
Welcome, Henry Reitwiesner!
FBT Architects is excited to announce that Henry Reitwiesner has joined their Colorado Springs team as a Project Executive after retiring from Academy District 20. Henry has been invested in educational architecture for over 25 years, with a depth of experience in facilities’ management, construction supervision and contract administration. After more than two decades employed […]
SNL Building 706 Agile Wins ABC NM Eagle Award
Sandia National Laboratories’ 706 Agile Lab project was awarded the Eagle Award (top award in its category) at the 2021 Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Awards. FBT is proud to be a part of this team with Noresco, Smith Engineering, Jensen Hughes, EEA Consulting Engineers and Thompson Construction Inc. Designed for LEED Gold, […]
Groundwork Studio Hires Toby Levin
Toby Levin joins Groundwork Studio and FBT Architects as a Landscape Designer. He brings a diverse history, having worked as an actor and in philanthropic administration before turning to landscape architecture. Toby is drawn to urban spaces that connect people with natural processes and works to balance the needs of these sometimes-competing interests. He enjoys […]
Groundwork Studio Hires Erika Robers
Erika Robers joins Groundwork Studio and FBT Architects with a background in education, community-based research and program development. Her love for the outdoors, plants and nature-based education led her to pursue a degree in community, environmental and natural resource planning. Planning outdoor student learning events and her time organizing and teaching recent immigrants informs Erika’s […]
FBT Hires Cheyenne Gurule
FBT welcomes Cheyenne Gurule to our team as an Intern Architect. Cheyenne applies her detail-oriented approach to FBT’s projects, working at the production level to turn big picture ideas into a built reality. She is most inspired when culture, community and innovation converge to form beautiful architecture. Her interests include the many facets of sustainability […]
FBT Hires Nicholas Morse
FBT welcomes Nicholas Morse to our team as an Intern Architect. Nicholas is driven by a desire to improve individual and societal wellbeing through conscientious dialog between the built environment and the natural world. He is intrigued by passive natural systems that reduce our carbon footprint and blur the line between architecture and the landscape–such […]