Founded in a disused beer warehouse in Santa Fe’s once-gritty Railyard District, SITE opened in 1995 as the only international biennial of contemporary art in the U.S. It has since evolved into a year-round destination for avant-garde works. But as the small museum neared its 20th year, the facility no longer suited the vision of the board and the new director, Irene Hofmann, so they invited New York– based SHoP to transform it. The design team has created a seamless expansion, adding a multifunction lobby, flexible galleries, storage and office areas, and upgrading the HVAC. They also built a rear courtyard bordered by an event space and education lab. The main attraction, though, is the bold perforated-aluminum prow that stretches from the newly glazed entrance. Softly lit by integrated LEDs, this silvery marquee not only welcomes passersby—it signals that something exciting is happening here.

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Design Architect:

SHoP Architects


Architect of Record:

Allegretti Architects



High Desert Structural Engineering (structural);

Indus (M/E/P)



BG Buildingworks (lighting)

Geo-Test, Inc. (geotechnical)


General contractor:

Sarcon Construction



Kate Russell


Additional photography:

Jeff Goldberg

Nick Merrick



Structural System:

Steel, Concrete Masonry, CIP concrete

Manufacturer of structural components unique to this project:

New Mexico Steel Fabricators (steel trusses and façade anchors)


Curtain wall

Metal/Glass Curtain Wall Fabricator:

Southwest Glass & Glazing, Inc.

Glass (Clear): Solarban 60 Clear Tempered Exterior Insulating Glass



Ornamental Metal Panels:

Powder-coated aluminum 5052 H32

Steel Support:

A 36

Exterior finishes


STO Corp.

Steel Paint Coating:

Sherwin Williams, Diamond Vogel

Pedestal pavers:

Tectura Designs

Exterior Signage:

SignArt of New Mexico


Metal frame: Tubelite

Fire-rated Glass: Pilkington Pyrostop


Entrances: Tubelite

Metal doors: Rocky Mountain Metals, Inc.

Wood doors: Assa Abloy – Graham

All-glass doors: C.R. Laurence Co.

Special doors (sound control, X-ray, etc.): Solar Innovations (bi-fold door)


Metal frame: Tubelite

Locksets: Schlage

Closers: Falcon Lock

Exit devices: CRL Jackson, Von Duprin

Pulls: Rockwood

Other special hardware: Glynn-Johnson, Ives, Hallgren, Lockey, Zero

Interior finishes

Acoustical ceilings: Hunter Douglas, StarSilent by Pyrok, Armstrong, Epicore

Suspension grid: Rockfon

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Jaynes Corporation

Custom Retail Display: Well Beloved Wood Works

Paints and stains: Diamond Vogel, Sherwin Williams

Acoustic Paneling: Novawall

Wall coverings: Carnegie Fabrics

Plastic laminate: Wilsonart

Solid surfacing: Caesarstone

Floor and wall tile: Daltile (bathrooms, kitchen, café)

Resilient flooring: Forbo

Carpet: Patcraft


Office furniture: Herman Miller, Stellar Works, Hon, Brigade Filing, Maharam

Reception furniture: Herman Miller

Chairs: Arper Pix and Zinta (Maharam Upholstery), Tolix, Howe Seating,

Tables: Tolix Maraif and Arper, Design Within ReachSculptura, Herman Miller

Upholstery: Maharam, Carnegie

Planters: Serralunga, Tau Manufacturing


Downlights: Wila, Cooper Lighting

Task lighting: Cooper Lighting

Exterior: Solid State Luminaires, Optic Arts, FT Lighting, Cooper Lighting

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron, Ketra

Emergency Lighting: Isolite, Sirocco


Elevator: Otis


Water Fountains and Fixtures: Kohler, Sloan, Bemis, Advance Tabco, Elkay,

Just Manufacturing, Zurn, Dearborn Brass, Brasscraft, Crane Plumbing,