Performative Landscapes

Albuquerque, NM | mLA studio

The importance of clean sources of water is key in an arid climate such as that of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In low-income developments, landscaping is often the first area to be cut because of water requirements. This project uses a series of filtration tanks to store household grey water to feed individual gardens in front of each building. Each garden serves as a border, defining a "front porch" for residents, who usually forgo plots of land in front of their houses in favor of small backyards. By bringing people to the front, the area becomes safer with more "eyes on the street."

A crushed stone pavement forms a continuous surface from the front door to the center of the site - a simple solution to expensive concrete and asphalt installation, as well as a semi-pervious surface that avoids drainage issues during periods of rain. This surface increases the amount of space that can be used for parking and driveways, in contrast to the current layout.

Providing public squares and flexible parking allows for larger gatherings and gives residents a greater sense of community. Using simple materials and an adaptable design, this project creates a safer, more engaging environment for the residents of this low-income area.