Architectural Feature: KANW Radio Station

The Honor Award for AIA Albuquerque’s Design Awards was presented to Baker Architecture + Design for the remodel of the KANW Radio Station.

The goal of the project was to not only give KANW a larger and more modern space, but to also provide the station with a stronger presence along Coal Ave. where the radio station has been located since its construction in 1969. Not wanting to neglect KANW’s origins, the eastern half of the existing building was preserved leaving the majority of the existing shell intact. However, an entirely new second floor was added, housing new offices and a large multi-use space.  Anchor Built, Inc. was the contractor for the project.

The design awards jury was impressed by the “clever adaptive reuse of an existing building but felt that it was equally strong as a design of excellence in its own right.” Jury panelists noted the “visibility and presence the new station created” and how the compact design provided a “surprising spatial richness.”

Since its inception KANW has worked with Albuquerque Public Schools to provide tours and vocational training to many of Albuquerque’s high school students. The architect worked closely with the station’s manager to incorporate a safe and flexible learning space along side the other radio station functions. This space will be used as a vocational classroom, a center of operations for pledge drives and even a secondary studio for special broadcasts.

The western half of the existing building, which currently houses the music store, storage and an office or two, was opened up to provide better access. Only the merchandise and restrooms occupy this remodeled area, supplying improved visibility and more room to display and operate the store.

With plenty of natural light, views of the surrounding city, flexible workspaces, and custom steel signage throughout, the KANW Radio Station remodel has brought new life to this Albuquerque icon.

Project Name: KANW Radio Station
Project Completion Date: 2015
Architect: Baker Architecture + Design
Contractor: Anchor Built Inc.
Address: 2020 Coal Ave. SW

Photos courtesy of Bake Architecture & Design



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