The architectural team of DNCA + StudioGP of Albuquerque, N.M. are the designers of the conversion of the former Halpin State Archives Center at 404 Montezuma Avenue into an annex of the museum focused on contemporary art. The project is the subject of a capital campaign by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, and the target for the building to open to visitors is sometime in 2020. Members of the museum staff and the architectural team will be on-hand to provide an overview of the project, as well as to answer questions and hear ideas. “As the people’s museum, it is important that we provide this opportunity for community input into the project at this early phase of planning,” said museum director Mary Kershaw. “Our goal is that this will be one of the most inviting and inclusive art spaces anywhere, and we don’t just want to rely on our own ideas on what that means.” Kershaw added that the architecture team is in their initial research phase of the project, so this is the perfect time to begin a dialog with people from around Santa Fe and New Mexico. The event is free of charge.
Parking is available nearby at the City of Santa Fe’s Railyard parking garage, and transit service is available to adjacent stops for both Santa Fe Trails transit and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. 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).