The Albuquerque Convention Center is the winner of ENR's 2015 Best of the Best Renovation/Restoration project.
Engineering News-Record's editorial team and industry judges considered projects across the United States to identify and highlight the pinnacle of design and construction achievement. Out of 750 total projects submitted, judges selected just 20 national winners.
The Albuquerque Convention Center and other winning projects were honored at the ENR Award of Excellence celebration in New York City.
ENR Award of Excellence celebration in New York City. Pictured from left to right, Bill Sabatini, Principal at D/P/S, Keith Reed, Deputy Director at COA Parks and Recreation Department, Michael Riordan, COA Chief Operations Officer, and Kendal Giles, Principal at D/P/S.
Originally built in the late 1960s with the brutalist aesthetic popular at the time, the objective of the Albuquerque Convention Center renovation was to modernize operations and create a regional architectural presence that captured "Albuquerque's unique spirit".
Renovations included updating the kitchen and improving service to the ballrooms, opening the main ballroom to a new exterior balcony, several other "mini-projects" meant to provide a single aesthetic and functional statement, and a complex renovation that opened the west building to Civic Plaza.
Creating the new entrance on the west building required the demolition of a 250-ton, cantilevered opaque stair landing―the size of a small building―to create a transparent main entrance.
In addition to being technically challenging, what really sets this project apart from others is the way the project team worked closely together to perform the work while allowing public events to safely continue for the duration of the renovation. Access and egress paths were carefully considered prior to each event, some of which included as many as 2,000 people. Additional safety measures ensured that the public as well as the workers were protected, and the whole renovation was completed without accidents or OSHA violations. Furthermore, no events were canceled due to construction.
The renovation not only improved the look and feel of the building, but it also improved operations and enhanced circulation between the west and east wings. With its new facelift, the Convention Center leverages community pride and attracts more business.
Construction of the Albuquerque Convention Center Renovation
Construction video courtesy of Jim Lloyd, Senior Project Manager at Bradbury Stamm Construction.