Luminaria Rendering_Central View High Res

Senior Living

Senior living on the Mother Road

Luminaria Senior Community

The Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership hired DPS in 2019 to help them develop the Luminaria Senior Community, an affordable senior living community located at Central Avenue and Eubank Boulevard in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Located in the heart of the East Gateway Metropolitan Redevelopment Area and along historic Route 66, the project will capture the historic essence of Route 66 in a contemporary light, while infilling a previously developed lot, a brownfield site containing a blighted building.

DPS worked on incorporating items from the East Gateway Metropolitan Redevelopment Plan, Route 66 Action Plan, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority's Design Guidelines for LIHTC, HUD, IDO, LEED for Homes, Energy Star for New Homes and additional requirements of the City of Albuquerque's HOMES program into an L-shape building that wraps Central Avenue while providing a walkable streetscape with access to transit along a public sidewalk with added lighting, xeriscape landscaping, and street trees. The streetscape is enhanced by visibility into the residential amenities on the ground floor to activate the public walking path.

DPS’s design features a contemporary aesthetic inspired by the vibrancy of the historic Route 66.

The community consists of 92 dwelling units with a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom unit types, where 5% of homes will meet Type "A" accessibility requirements, while the remaining will be designated Type "B" adaptable units incorporating many elements of universal design into all aspects of the community - meeting the needs of the senior population who will live there.

DPS's design features a contemporary aesthetic inspired by the vibrancy of the historic Route 66 eluding to the previous community that once inhabited the site, Ponderosa; this concept was developed in a well-attended neighborhood meeting. Inspired by the historic signage from the Ponderosa community, the building incorporates remnants of a retro Route 66 vibe by reimagining the traditional black and white checkered pattern of the Route 66 diners of the past, possibilities for building illumination after hours to represent a reimagined neon sign lighting scheme, and street activation.

Evidence-Based Design strategies were employed throughout the design. Color palettes were chosen for the aging eye, specific lighting was incorporated to eliminate glare, and special finishes were integrated to avoid optical illusion around elevation change.

Luminaria Senior Community project is designed by DPS to meet both environmental and human sustainability goals through energy efficiency, incorporation of health and wellness building design strategies, universal design, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies, all to the benefit of the community itself and the community at large.

Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership

Albuquerque, NM

50,001-75,000 sf

In Progress


Beyond the Building

  • Community Benefit
  • Experience Redefined
  • Extreme Makeover
  • Mission Support
  • Sustainability
  • Wellness