The Thornburg Foundation announces that Centennial High School in Las Cruces will receive the 2015 Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture in New Mexico. Presentation of the 2015 Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture is Friday, Feb. 20, at 5:30 p.m. in UNM School of Architecture & Planning's Pearl Hall auditorium. 

Immediately following the awards ceremony the annual Harnar Lecture is presented by Gregg Pasquarelli, AIA, founding principal of the internationally acclaimed firm SHoP Architects, with offices New York City. A reception and opening of the exhibition of the submissions for the 2015 Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture in the Pearl Hall Gallery. 

Sited on the eastern edge of Las Cruces and taking full advantage of the prominent view of the Organ Mountain range, Centennial High School, which opened in 2012, was selected from projects located throughout the state. 

Considered the most prestigious recognition for contemporary architectural design in New Mexico, the Jeff Harnar Award also includes a $10,000 prize to the submitting architectural firm.

The winning facility resulted from a collaboration of two prominent New Mexico architectural firms, ASA Architects in Las Cruces, the architect of Record; and Dekker/Perich/Sabatini in Albuquerque, the lead design group.

Established by the Thornburg Foundation, the Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture was created to encourage excellence and creativity in design. The annual program is intended to also honor the memory of Jeff Harnar, a talented Santa Fe architect who successfully crafted modern materials and innovative design for projects that reside comfortably and respectfully with the rich architectural heritage and unique landscape found in New Mexico. 

The 2015 Award Jury was comprised of architects RK Stewart, FAIA, a past president of the American Institute of Architects, Salt Lake City; Renee Cheng, AIA, architect and associate dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota; Marlene Imirzion, FAIA, Imirzion Associates Architects, Phoenix; along with Wendell Montgomery, a graduate architecture student in architecture at the University of New Mexico and John Quale, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, and director of the UNM professional program in architecture.  

As with Harnar Award programs conducted in previous years, the selection panel was impressed by both the breadth and large number of excellent projects that were submitted for the competition. Jury Chair RK Stewart noted that the committee was given the very difficult task of selecting a single project from a large number of entries for the 2015 Harnar top award; one, that in its estimation, best fulfilled the criteria for this prestigious prize. 

“The design of Centennial High demonstrates the recognition of the award program criteria in demonstrating appropriate and artistic responses to the challenges and opportunities provided by the client, program, users and the budget, while also adhering to established principles and best practices for achieving sustainability,” Stewart said.  

The jury also chose to recognize honorable mention citations four other entries. These include three projects in Albuquerque, the Levitated Toy Factory Devendra Contractor, Architect (DNCA, LLC), Georgia O’Keeffe Elementary School (Jon Anderson, Architects), Casitas de Colores (Dekker/Perich/Sabatini), and Torcasso Residence located near Santa Fe and designed by the Texas firm Page Southerland Page.