University of New Mexico Alumni Chapel

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Completed: 2013

MRWM worked closely with the Alumni Association and University Landscape Architect on the renovation of the historic UNM Alumni Chapel. The landscape resets this striking piece of architecture in a culturally and historically appropriate context. The project consists of the redesign of the Chapel forecourt and the addition of a ‘celebratory wall’ and walkway.  The celebratory wall is designed to display donors’ photographs of memorable events held at this important University landmark.  The forecourt was expanded, creating much-needed flexible exterior gathering space and seating for chapel events. The landscape design is simple and elegant, and in keeping with the chapel’s traditional Franciscan Mission architectural style. Referencing traditional landscape features, the forecourt includes flagstone paving, a rose garden, a stone fountain, and a fruitless crabapple tree mini-orchard.

MRWM controlled costs on this project through value engineering that included a reduction in the area of the concrete walk by limiting the walk to critical extents. Further cost savings were made by having the contractor build the fountain rather than specifying a pre-manufactured product. An additive alternate was developed for the back of the Chapel to take advantage of available construction funds if the bid came in lower than expected.