Founded in 1937, The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is New Mexico’s oldest non-profit, independent museum. In 2015, the museum's largest expansion in all of its history prompted the need to re-imagine the site environs. Surroundings was tasked with first examining some critical site issues around drainage and erosion caused by on-site and off-site stormwater run-off. Working with a permaculture focused contractor, we created strategies to reinforce the site without large scale engineered interventions.
We then developed a comprehensive master plan that addressed accessibility, erosion issues, passive water conservation strategies, parking, better pedestrian and vehicular circulation, and enhancing the native landscape.
The first phase of implementation was completed in 2015 and transformed what was a vacuous gravel parking lot into a logical drop off area, expanded parking that was sensitively integrated within the native landscape, and better orientation and wayfinding through circulation paths and new plantings.
In 2015, this project was the recipient of two prestigious awards given by the State of New Mexico and the City of Santa Fe for design excellence.