Pat Hurley Hillside Development

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Completed: 2009

Pat Hurley Park is the site of the Pat Hurley Community Center and two parks with passive and active recreation opportunities. It serves as the gathering place for the community and acts as the bridge between segments of the community divided by a steep escarpment.

The Pat Hurley Park Hillside Development presented the challenge of creating pathways and stair routes between parks located over 120 vertical feet apart.

The design solution addresses serious erosion problems on the steep hillside. Gabion rock walls (utilizing salvaged material), set into the hill create sturdy, safe routes that blend into the surrounding hillside.  Xeric plantings of native and naturalized plants further the visitor’s feeling of being in a natural landscape. The design also includes a new children’s play area and stage/public gathering space to support the programming of the community center. 

Pat Hurley Hillside was developed in a manner that used its tremendous physical disadvantages and challenges to create a place with the unusual combinations of excitement and beauty, exercise and contemplation, and expressions of traditional and modern elements. 

This park serves as an example of comprehensive planning for sustainability, pioneering construction methods, monitoring of long term success, and integration of physical and social program elements.