If you’ve seen The Avengers (2012), you have seen the long-defunct railyards in the Barelas neighborhood just south of Downtown Albuquerque, N.M. Once a service yard for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the 27.3-acre site houses shops that date back to the early 20th century, and that became defunct when the railroad left the site in 1970. It has since been used for a filming location and event space, but Culver City, Calif.–based Eric Owen Moss Architects is now spearheading a master plan to convert the site into a mixed-use development with office and cultural spaces as well as retail, light commercial facilities, and workforce housing. Existing steel-framed buildings will be adaptively reused where possible, and supplemented with new construction. An arcing glass canopy, for instance, will cover a walkway that bisects the site. Public plazas, walkways, and courtyards will connect the various venues. Though the jurors wished elements of the plan were more developed as they were making their assessments, ultimately, “it has to do with strategy,” juror Marcelo Spina said. “If you think about the shed buildings and how those get integrated back into the grid, they produce many types of public space.”

Project Credits

Project Albuquerque Rail Yards, Albuquerque, N.M.
Client Samitaur Constructs
Architect Eric Owen Moss Architects, Culver City, Calif.—Eric Owen Moss, FAIA, Dolan Daggett (project director); Vanessa Jáuregui, Somayye Ramezani, Eric McNevin, Andrew Wright (project team)
Local Architects SMPC Architects—Glenn Fellows, AIA; Studio Southwest Architects—Robert Heiser, AIA
Master Development Team Samitaur Constructs—Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith
Conservation Architect Giora Solar Architects
Project Manager Jim Trump Jr.
Historic Preservation Cherry/See/Reames Architects—Edie Cherry, FAIA
Planning/Landscape Architect Consensus Planning
Civil Engineering Wilson & Co.—Christopher Perea
Size 879,000 gross square feet

See all of the other Progressive Architecture winners here.