New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art announces architects to design a new annex in the Santa Fe Railyard

July 06, 2017


The New Mexico Museum of Art, part of the State of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has announced that the architectural team of DNCA + StudioGP of Albuquerque, N.M., have been selected to design the conversion of the former Halpin State Archives Center into an annex of the museum focused on contemporary art. The building is set to open to visitors sometime in 2020.

At an event in the Halpin building this morning, Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica Gonzales, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, New Mexico Museum of Art Director Mary Kershaw, Museum of New Mexico Foundation President/CEO Jamie Clements and DNCA Principal Devendra Contractor were among the speakers making the announcement.

"This has been a long-term project from the beginning, and it’s great that we have reached the phase where we can include the community in what we’re going to be doing here," Kershaw said about the announcement of the architects. "People here in Santa Fe and around New Mexico will be starting to not only see the steps we’re taking to turn this great building into an art space, but we are going to be looking for every opportunity to give the community a voice in what we are doing here."

The contemporary art space has been part of the museum’s strategic plan since 2015. The limited square footage of the nearly 100-year-old, Pueblo Revival icon on the Santa Fe Plaza limits the museum’s capacity to display and store works from its collection of over 23,000 works. The need for more space, a goal to showcase more art being produced now, as well as the emergence of the dynamic, creative and walkable Santa Fe Railyard district combined to make the Halpin Building a logical location for the new art space.

The Museum of New Mexico Foundation – an independent, nonprofit organization that raises money for the state museum and historic site system – is undertaking a $10 million campaign to bring the new project to fruition.

DNCA is no stranger to Santa Fe or the Railyard District in particular. They created the designs for such well-known Railyard buildings as the Rose Morelli Building, the Sears-Hansen Building and the LewAllen Galleries, all located near the Halpin building. Other DNCA projects include Second Street Brewery’s Rufina Street location in Santa Fe, as well as Albuquerque’s Tamarind Institute at the University of New Mexico, and the downtown headquarters of the digital fabrication firm Levitated Toy Factory. StudioGP’s portfolio includes the Canadian Human Rights Museum, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the Cornerstone Art Center in Colorado Springs, and Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, also in Colorado (those projects executed as senior associate for Antoine Predock).

While the main museum building on the plaza will continue to showcase the museum’s 20th-century works and serve as a hub for community events and performances, the Railyard facility will present ambitious contemporary exhibitions, showcase working artists, celebrate the diversity of art being created in the area, continue to build what is already a world-class museum collection and better connect Santa Fe and New Mexico to contemporary art worldwide.

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