Tom’s Thumb Trailhead

Client:  City of Scottsdale
Photography:  Bill Timmerman
The Tom’s Thumb Trailhead in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a sustainable civic building that charters new territory not just for its environmental integration, but more for its self-sufficiency as the site is not connected to conventional municipal infrastructure – no water, no sewer, and no electric services.  This project demanded the rethinking of a common public utilitarian building type, from design to long-term facility operation, with innovative resolve by all its stakeholders.  Contextually, this Trailhead provides access into the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve multi-use trail network leading to the northern mountain tier which has long been a destination for rock climbers seeking its world-renowned granite crags and notable rock formation.  The project site is located at the northern base of the McDowell Mountains amid a sprawling watershed defined by a relentlessly steep undulating topography and numerous desert washes.  Responsible environmental planning and design have made it feasible to accommodate parking for 224 vehicles, equestrian access, and a Trailhead with waterless restrooms, interpretive displays, and a formal gathering area for educational venues.

Awards:
2013 Arizona Forward Crescordia Environmental Excellence Award
2013 AIA Western Mountain Region Award of Excellence 
2013 AIA Arizona Honor Award
2013 AIA Arizona SRP Sustainable Award