Submitted by Weddle Gilmore black rock studio and Okland Construction

The riparian habitat restoration of the Rio Salado is the result of a $100-million investment by the City of Phoenix and the Army Corps of Engineers to transform the dry river bed that had become an urban scar. As the focal point of this habitat, the Audobon Center is strategically located in the multi-cultural heart of the city to reach urban children and educate a new generation of conservationists.

Photo:Bill Timmerman

Built using a pre-fabricated structural steel frame, the Center achieved LEED platinum with features such as an on-site waste water system and a roof-mounted photovoltaic array.

Over 75% of the former brownfield site was restored to new native habitat, with volunteers planting more than 180 trees.

One judge said: “It’s an amazing celebration of water in the middle of the desert.”

Owner: National Audubon Society/City of Phoenix
General Contractor: Okland Construction
Architect: Weddle Gilmore black rock studio
Engineers: Kland Engineering; Rudow & Berry; Kunka Engineering
Subcontractors: Milling Machinery; European Techniques; Progressive Roofing; Coyote Glass; Indicom Electric; Caldera Landscaping