Pilots' Landing Welcome Center

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Project Info: 18,000 SF Multi-purpose Facility

Completed: (Unbuilt Design Concept)

Awards: AIA Albuquerque Merit Award 2014

Project Description:
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is New Mexico’s largest tourist event attracting over three quarters of a million visitors to its nine-day annual event. Emerging from the development of a Conceptual Master Plan for Balloon Fiesta Park, the proposed Pilots’ Pavilion Welcome Center will create a year round multi-purpose facility as well as an activity hub during the Fiesta. This will be the first permanent public facility to be constructed at the edge of the balloon launch field, linking Balloon Fiesta’s Main Street promenade with the launch field.

This project’s design is a continuous extension of the park landscape in both its built expression and through how it facilitates views, connectivity and frames experiences within the park. The building design evokes the spirit of flight by alluding to the ascension of a balloon in motion as it lifts off. The layout of the curvilinear glulam wood beam pavilion structure allows for a phased, incremental approach to enclosing the space beneath the ‘waved’ structure over time. The building and its surroundings engages the park visitor to ascend and explore its bermed landscape. The grass launch field extends around the building with a berm that shields the building’s service yard while simultaneously providing a sloped walk promenade up to a rooftop terrace for panoramic views of the launch field, Sangre de Christo Mountains to the east, and the volcanoes to the west.