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.

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