The Sky Room in Campus Park. Courtesy photo.

Concert at the park. Sky Room wins awards.


The Sky Room amphitheater at Campus Park was recognized for its outstanding architectural design by the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and the Thornburg Foundation, and received the top prize of Contemporary Architecture in the Southwest.  

This award acknowledges architecture in the Four Corners states that broadens the definition of Southwestern architecture. 

“In designing the Sky Room at Campus Park with the architect, McClain + Yu, our goal was to create an iconic structure that would uniquely characterize Rio Rancho as a community with its own cultural identity,” Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull said in a statement: “We are honored that our city’s own park and amphitheater is recognized as a regional work of art.” 

Campus Park is a multipurpose, community outdoor gathering space that is an activity hub in the City Center area.

On a daily basis, the six-acre park is a destination for college students, those working in City Center, and for Rio Rancho residents.

The Sky Room amphitheater at Campus Park is the heart of the space and a hallmark architectural structure that doubles as a work of art and home to concert performances and city events. This project would not have been possible without the contributions of community members, city staff, the City of Rio Rancho Arts Commission, and collaborators such as UNM Health Sciences, Hewlett-Packard, the design team, the contractor, and all of the subcontractors from landscaping to drilling to roofing and plumbing and heating. 

The Jeff Harnar Awards program was created by Garrett Thornburg in 2007 to honor Harnar’s memory and continue his work in the area of contemporary design.  

In 2018, the award program was expanded to include Unbuilt Work and Landscape Architecture. In 2020-21, the program was further expanded to include the following categories: Contemporary Architecture in the Southwest, An Outstanding New Mexico Designer, Unbuilt Architecture, Unbuilt Landscape Architecture, Student Architecture Award and Student Landscape Architecture Award.