Desert Hills Elementary School

deserthills572In association with Nims, Calvani & Associates, Las Cruces, New Mexico

The New Mexico desert proved a major influence in the design of this 54,000 sq. ft. elementary school. The pastel colors and simple forms of this harsh environment provided a natural template. The building reflects these qualities in its simple plan and materials. As project manager for Nims, Calvani and Associates, the school unfolded into an inviting yet natural presence in this desert landscape. Despite a tight budget, the school provides a full range of educational and recreational opportunities for its K-5 populace, along with computer and special education facilities. Aesthetically, the colorful doors and cmu banding, along with the clay tile roofs, accent the building’s stucco exterior, allowing it to both reflect and challenge the beauty of its desert setting.