SHoP Architects complete revamp of SITE Santa Fe art museum

We wanted the design to lend a quality of intimacy to the space but also open it up to the energy of the Railyard district
– Christopher Sharples, SHoP Architects principal

New York practice SHoP Architects have completed their expansion of SITE Santa Fe, one of the most respected contemporary arts venues in the US.

The museum – which runs year-round exhibitions, artistic residencies and educational programmes to foster avant-garde art – has occupied a former warehouse in the Santa Fe Railyard since its opening in 1995.

SHoP were brought in to emphasise SITE’s role as “a progressive and dynamic cultural hub” by adding 10,000sq ft (930sq m) of new interior space – bringing the total to 36,000sq ft (3,300sq m). Construction began in August 2016.

Among the museum's updated facilities are a new entrance, an expanded lobby, sculpture court, cafe and store; an education lab for local youth groups; a 200-capacity auditorium; and a Sky Terrace. The existing SITElab Exhibition gallery has been expanded to create a 1,800sq ft (167sq m) arts space to host international biennials.

The studio’s design for SITE is anchored in the distinctive material qualities of the surrounding railyard – such as the ridged metallic cladding used on railway carriages – alongside a contrasting and more contemporary aesthetic. In addition to the interior renovations, new outdoor public spaces have been added to contrast with the area’s abundant brown space.

“We wanted the design to lend a quality of intimacy to the space but also open it up to the energy of the Railyard district,” said SHoP principal Christopher Sharples. “Together the new galleries, public gathering spaces, and the exterior entrance signal a mature sophistication throughout the space while also creating an iconic presence for the institution as it moves forward.”

Since its launch, SITE has presented more than 100 exhibitions of works by more than 700 international artists, and chief curator Irene Hofmann claims that the expansion would allow the museum to further boost its output.

“This new expansion strengthens our ability to showcase cutting-edge contemporary art and expand the traditional museum experience,” she said. “We’re delighted to have had the chance to work with the innovative team at SHoP Architects – their design for the new SITE Santa Fe brings a stunning world-class building to Santa Fe’s landscape.”

Video credit: Spirit of Space

SHoP Architects  SITE Santa Fe  art  architecture  design 
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New York practice SHoP Architects have completed their expansion of SITE Santa Fe, one of the most respected contemporary arts venues in the US. The museum – which runs year-round exhibitions, artistic residencies and educational programmes to foster avant-garde art – has occupied a former warehouse in the Santa Fe Railyard since its opening in 1995. SHoP were brought in to emphasise SITE’s role as “a progressive and dynamic cultural
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The studio’s design for SITE is anchored in the distinctive material qualities of the surrounding railyard / Jeff Goldberg/ESTO
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