Final Four Asked to Submit Park Plans (NM)

Santa Fe, N.M., 3/25/02-The Trust for Public Land has invited four landscape and urban design teams to submit plans as part of the Santa Fe “Railyard Park and Plaza” competition, which will lead to the development of a new park and plaza with connecting walkways in the city’s downtown core.

Encompassing a total of 13 acres-ten acres between Cerrillos Road, Guadalupe Street and Paseo de Peralta, and three acres north of Paseo de Peralta-the Railyard Park and Plaza are part of the city of Santa Fe’s greater plans for development of the 50-acre, city-owned railyard. The property is the largest remaining piece of undeveloped land in downtown Santa Fe. The chosen teams will be asked to submit ideas for a design that is visually beautiful and serves a “community-building” function by encouraging Santa Feans of all ages, economic classes and cultural backgrounds to interact with one another.

The “Final Four” teams were chosen from among 56 respondents to a Request for Qualifications who submitted from locations worldwide, including London, Edinburgh, Seoul, Buenos Aires and Barcelona. The teams were selected by a steering committee comprised of representatives of the Trust for Public Land, the city of Santa Fe, railyard property owners, architects, and others. The selections were based on the Request for Qualifications; each team’s general design philosophy and approach; and their inclusion of a New Mexico-based architectural, engineering or landscape firm, or individual of their choice, as part of their design team.

“We attracted a ‘Who’s Who’ list in the fields of landscape architecture and park design,” said Brian Drypolcher, program manager for the Trust for Public Land in Santa Fe. “We required that all teams include people from New Mexico to ensure good local understanding. We’re really pleased with the makeup of the teams that were assembled. Each team includes a good mix of broad-based national experience and well-grounded local perspective.”

The selected finalists are:

Team 1

  • Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design, Los Angeles, CA
  • Margie Ruddick Landscape Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
  • Studio Civitas with Rosemary Romera, Albuquerque & Santa Fe, NM
  • URS Environmental Consultants, Albuquerque, NM
  • Western Ecology, Santa Fe, NM
  • Elliot Norquist, artist, Miami, NM
  • Center for Land Use and Interpretation, artist
  • Jesus Bautista Moroles, artist

Team 2

  • Tom Leader Studio, Berkeley, CA
  • Brad Cloepfil / Allied Works, Portland OR
  • Leah Levy, art curator and public art consultant, San Francisco, CA
  • Arup, engineers, San Francisco, CA
  • Deborah Madison, Santa Fe Farmers Market board member, Santa Fe, NM
  • Patrick McFarlin, artist, Santa Fe, NM
  • Pedro Romero Sedeno, ceramicist, Santa Fe, NM
  • Randy Getty, designer and photographer, Santa Fe, NM
  • Robert Berry, horticulturist and site restoration consultant, Santa Fe, NM

Team 3

  • Ken Smith Landscape Architect, New York, NY
  • Frederic Schwartz Architects, New York, NY
  • Mary Miss, artist, New York, NY
  • Mary Steuver, ecologist, Placitas, NM
  • Emily Shillingburg, anthropologist, Washington, D.C.
  • Morey Walker, engineer, Santa Fe, NM
  • Arup, engineers, New York/Lost Angeles/Houston
  • Pentagram, graphic design, Austin/San Francisco/New York
  • Allee King Rosen & Fleming, environmental planning, New York, NY
  • Sam Schwartz Co., transportation planning, New York, NY

Team 4

  • SITE Environmental Design, Inc., New York, NY
  • Design with Nature, Santa Fe, NM
  • David Carlson, landscape designer, Santa Fe, NM
  • Van Amburgh + Pares, architects, Santa Fe, NM
  • Chrissie Orr, artist, Santa Fe, NM
  • Marie Wilkinson, architect, Santa Fe, NM

Representatives from each team will be in Santa Fe on March 15, 2002, for a site briefing and to review details of the competition. Their visit will include a series of presentations by the Trust for Public Land, as well as discussions with various interested community groups, including area neighborhood groups, railyard tenants, representatives of the city of Santa Fe, the city’s master planning team and others.

Each design team will receive an honorarium of $20,000 to help defray competition costs. After the initial briefing, teams will be required to submit a conceptual urban design plan for the site as well as a set of implementation guidelines that ensures the development will protect historic areas and enhance the local community environment. In the final competition phase, each team will present a three-dimensional model illustrating their urban design concept. A public exhibit of the models will offer opportunities for public comments. In late May 2002, a jury comprised of four internationally recognized landscape and urban design experts, as well as four local community representatives, will recommend a winning design to the Trust for Public Land.

The competition winner will receive the opportunity to negotiate a consulting contract with the Trust for Public Land to prepare detailed planning documents that will guide the phased development of the park and plaza, which is expected to extend over the next two to three years. This effort will be carefully integrated with other development activities taking place on the railyard.

Since helping the city acquire the railyard property in 1995, the Santa Fe office of the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit conservation organization, has worked with the city and community groups to develop a plan for the public spaces on the railyard. Specifically, the Trust for Public Land agreed to sponsor the design competition, which ultimately will result in construction of the 10-acre park, a community plaza, and a network of walkways and bicycle trails.

The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 with the purpose of protecting open spaces and parks that serve the needs of people in urban and rural areas. It has since added more than 2,000 properties to the nation’s commonwealth of open space. In New Mexico recently, the organization combined forces with the Bureau of Land Management and the Taos Land Trust to protect the spectacular views of the Rio Grande Gorge west of Taos. For the second year in a row, The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine has named the Trust for Public Land the most efficient conservation charity in the United States, having dedicated 92% of its funds to programs in 2001.

For more information about the Railyard Park and Plaza design competition, visit Or call Brian Drypolcher at 505-988-5922, ext.19.