Serving the Developmentally Disabled
El Mirador is the Northern New Mexico Chapter of Easter Seals, the national nonprofit that serves children and adults with disabilities. We designed their new 21,000 square foot facility to house day care and home care training facilities for developmentally disabled individuals and their families. We sited the two-story building along the edge of an existing slope to take advantage of the sweeping views and passive solar heating and cooling opportunities. A multipurpose courtyard provides a central node for multiple functions and uses and a second story portal creates a protected point of entry. The building is designed to support therapeutic goals through the use of natural light and tactile, local materials and color. Water and energy-saving features include passive solar design, a butterfly roof for rain harvesting, landscape design incorporating native plantings, high-efficiency fixtures and equipment, and a highly insulated building envelope.
The building contains several naturally day lit zones for client and therapist interaction, and a separate wing for the training center, which accommodates up to 250 attendees. The training center enables El Mirador to provide specialized training to a broad base of organizations serving the developmentally disabled community throughout the country. The day-services activity areas, training wing, and entry all open out to the courtyard which is used as an outdoor classroom and gathering area.
Structural Engineer: ABQ Engineering; MEP Engineer: ABQ Engineering;
Landscape Architect: Design Office
The new building is arranged around a south-facing courtyard that is paved with masonry to act as a heat sink and extends the comfortable seasonal use of the space.