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The Sandoval Regional Medical Center represents the first phase of a multi-phase master plan generated for UNM’s West campus that will help to serve the growing need for a hospital on the west side of the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area. The design of both the hospital and the master plan promotes density, environmental responsibility and connection to views, setting a benchmark for responsible development in Rio Rancho.


The building site is a largely undeveloped high desert environment with a significant degree of downward slope to the northeast and views of the Sandia Mountains to the east. The Sandoval Regional Medical Center footprint strategically minimizes site disturbance, maintains density, works with the grade to promote natural drainage and allows connections to existing and future roads at varying elevations. The 200,000 square foot hospital will be a full-service facility with a direct connection – via a glazed circulation volume - to a 44,000 square foot medical office building. This circulation volume promotes efficient flow between the two (separately programmed and classified) buildings while still providing a conditioned connection. The 68-bed hospital will offer emergency, imaging and surgical services, a 12-bed intensive care unit, eight inpatient psychiatric beds and forty-eight med-surg beds. Plans anticipate expansion to a 300-bed facility, including the addition of an obstetrics unit and a more comprehensive psychiatric program.

Owner: UNM Medical Group

Location: Rio Rancho, NM

Size: 244,000 SF

Associated Architect: WHR Architects, Inc.

Photos by Kirk Gittings