Library tour focuses on impact of architecture to local community

The Foundation held its 2016 Annual Celebration and Membership Meeting on May 14 at the new Central & Unser Library in Albuquerque. Approximately 30 members attended and participated in a tour of the library that opened its doors in April 2015.

The library’s architects Mark Rohde and Stephen Teeters of RMKM Architecture provided a presentation that detailed the planning process and open concept inspiration that influenced the design of the 25,000-square-foot building. Read more about the design >

Next, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library Director Dean Smith led the participants on a behind-the-scenes tour through the library while sharing insights into some of the features. One of the many highlights was the Lawrence Charles Vargas Children’s Activity Room that honors a local artist that was slain when he was just 23. Read his story >

“People have figured out that the building is really ‘theirs,’” emphasized Smith during the tour. The architecture and design that focused on a “community living room” concept has fully come to fruition as the local residents have made the library a personal landmark.

Foundation member Bob Peters noted that this building with its modern and thoughtful features can go a long way in getting young people interested in architecture. “We should focus on how new buildings can inspire,” Peters said.

The Foundation’s business meeting was conducted after the tour and many discussion topics focused on how to better involve both youth and architectural students. One idea that had support of the membership was to set-up a sponsorship for students to join the annual architectural tour.

The current executive board members also talked about the need to increase and diversify membership. The Foundation bylaws are being examined in order to better reflect the organization’s current structure and its need to expand its reach.

The meeting concluded with the election of the Foundation’s 2016-2017 officers:

President: Cara McCulloch

Secretary: John Briscoe

Treasurer: David Vaughan

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