Vladem Contemporary

(with Studio GP)


Santa Fe, NM


2023 AIA New Mexico – Distinguished Architecture Honor Award
2023 AIA Santa Fe – Merit Award
2023 AIA Albuquerque – Citation Award
2024 AGC New Mexico – Best Building $10-$20 Million / Public Private Partnerships
2024 AGC New Mexico – Grand Prize of Show

This building completes the vision of the New Mexico Museum of Art to provide a new home for its contemporary art collections and shows, as well as educational programming.

The project is comprised of a 15,000 square foot addition that bridges over an existing 20,000 square foot 1930’s brick and steel warehouse. The existing building is oriented to the grid of the adjacent railroad tracks, and the addition is aligned with the newer grid of surrounding city streets.

The design was guided by a desire to infuse Santa Fe’s unique light into the building. The ‘light gallery’ caps the north end of the upper level gallery space, and a central feature of the project is the use of the new portion of the building as a clerestory device to introduce natural light into the lobby at heart of the old warehouse structure.

There are two main entrances to the Vladem Contemporary: one facing towards Santa Fe’s downtown and the original location of the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the other facing toward the Railyard and the Rail Runner train, connecting Santa Fe to the rest of New Mexico. The covered terrace at the south entrance features an overhead LED light installation by Albuquerque-born artist Leo Villareal. The two entrances are joined by a large central lobby that allows people to pass through the building and gain glimpses of art at the ground level gallery without paying  for entrance.

Saving space at the site level, the decision to bridge new structure over existing allows for pedestrian traffic to filter through the site to and from the Railyard and Rail Runner to Santa Fe’s downtown, while providing areas for people to rest, gather, and celebrate. The upper level of the building features a large roof deck providing spectacular eastward views to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.