Unm sMITH plaza
UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO- ALBUQUERQUE, NM
McClain + Yu worked at the heart of the University of New Mexico’s historic campus to renovate Smith Plaza and Union Square. Working with landscape architects MRWM of Albuquerque and SurfaceDesign of San Francisco, the team was charged with designing a student friendly space which complements and respects the buildings which define the plaza. Significantly, the work included extensive demolition and rebuilding of hardscapes and softscapes which occur in the vicinity of two landmark buildings on UNM’s Campus: John Gaw Meem’s Zimmerman Library (recently added to the National Register of Historic Places) and the Student Union Building. The inclusion of the walled Lomas, 'mesa tops', with the friendly oversized urban lamps will enhance the evening atmosphere. The intentional use of familiar elements create a desirable outdoor environment on campus. Staff from McClain + Yu have experience working on UNM’s campus since the early 1990’s and understand the intricacies of both of the buildings. This professional experience was critical for the Smith Plaza project because of the proximity of the underground Center for Southwest Research, the roof of which serves as the main entrance to the building.