Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails Council Headquarters Building (formerly Chaparral Council)
The Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council in Albuquerque, New Mexico had outgrown their office space in downtown Albuquerque. They secured a site in northeast Albuquerque that allowed space for Scout activities and parking for the numerous volunteers and parents that support the scouting efforts.
The Headquarters Building has two important functions. One is to provide office space for the Administration. These functions are essentially 8-5, weekday activities. The other function is the scouting activity including programs for girls and a very active training function for volunteers. These scouting activities take place at all hours, including overnight camp-outs on the grounds and in the meeting rooms.
The storm drain easement restriction established the parking on the easement and to the west, and the building and scout activity areas to the east. The building presents itself to the street and is V-shaped which allows a fenced private camping area to the back. The outdoor activity areas, a fenced courtyard, and an open play field are adjacent to the arroyo. A sidewalk connects to the bike path along the arroyo connecting the site to many other recreational areas along the bike trail system. The building is located so it maintains excellent views of the Sandia Mountains to the east and Mount Taylor to the west. The building is raised so the view to the west is over the cars in the parking lot.
The architectural solution was to create two wings, an 8-5 wing to the south, which can be closed down after working hours and an activity wing paralleling to the street, which can be operated at any hour of the day or week. This activity wing has entrances to the kitchen and restroom/showers from inside and outside. A lobby joins the two wings with a play area for small children of volunteers, and a shop for Girl Scout uniforms, badges, and other such items.
The building form illustrates the two functions and highlights the entry/lobby/shop with a curved metal roof. The lobby roof slopes down to shield the northwest sun in summer and up on the southeast to let in winter morning sun. Every workspace has access to natural light either from windows, recessed to protect from excessive sun or from skylights. The interior core spaces of the office wing are used for storage, mail room, and copying, functions that do not have full time occupancy by staff.