The "Big I" Landscape

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Completed: 2010

The Big I Landscape is the single largest landscape project ever undertaken by the City of Albuquerque. With design and construction spanning a five-year period, the project required careful, multi-level management and meticulous attention to detail. The large site has extremely steep slopes and numerous viewing angles, presenting an exciting challenge to creating an aesthetically cohesive, maintenance friendly landscape. The design incorporates three distinct elements, or themes: (1) foothills gardens reminiscent of those found throughout the Rio Grande Valley, (2) linear orchards similar to those found in the historically agricultural areas of Central and Northern New Mexico, and (3) sweeping forms that mimic the arching flyovers and structural elements of the interchanges modern roadways. Striking artwork is incorporated throughout the project site to create focal points. Low voltage, programmable LED lighting helps accentuate and reinforce the landscape’s design themes. The success of the Big I Landscape has set a breakthrough precedent and has spurred the design and construction of additional similarly themed interstate landscaping projects throughout the City of Albuquerque.