Architecture  |  Planning  |  Interiors

© RMKM Architecture, P.C.  2019.  All rights reserved.

< Back to Projects



The Pueblo of Sandia is a federally recognized Native American tribe inhabiting a 39 square mile reservation of the same name in the eastern Rio Grande Rift of central New Mexico. It is bounded by the city of Albuquerque to the south and by the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, a landform the people hold sacred and which was central to the traditional economy and remains important in the spiritual life of the community. A cottonwood forested area known as the bosque surrounds the rest of the reservation and serves as a source of firewood and wild game. Its 500 people are traditionally Tiwa speakers, a language of the Tanoan group. The Tiwa name for the pueblo is Tuf Shur Tia, or "Green Reed Place", in reference to the green bosque (Spanish: forest). However, older documents claim that the original name of the pueblo was Nafiat, (Tiwa: "Place Where the Wind Blows Dust"). The Tribal Members and visitors are served by a State Certified, modern Police Department and this project is the Department‘s first facility to be developed specifically for Law Enforcement operations. The architectural imprint strives for durability and long-life, but also acknowledges an ephemeral existence – to blend smoothly and harmoniously with the land through the ebb and flow of time. The aim was not to merely remember the persistent built history of the pueblo people in a literal expression, but rather, it was to recover the qualities, attributes and sense of a humble architectural heritage. Conceived as a contemporary abstraction of traditional pueblo architecture, with state-of-the-art Law Enforcement amenities, the new POS Police Department Headquarters is centrally located within the reservation along the I-25 corridor in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains and overlooks the Rio Grande Bosque, west mesa and dormant volcanoes beyond.

Owner: Pueblo of Sandia

Location: Pueblo of Sandia, NM

Size: 10,048 SF

Photos by Kirk Gittings