SITE Santa Fe Facade

SHoP Architects in collaboration with UAP


Designed by SHoP Architects, the newly developed contemporary art museum offers new internal spaces and features an iconic ornamental cladding system that wraps the two museum entrances, framed by a soaring layered and perforated façade, create public gathering spaces and invite guests inside. Drawing inspiration from regional patternmaking and incorporating material qualities of the Santa Fe Railyard, the exterior of the building not only reflects the history and culture of the American Southwest, but also expresses a contemporary aesthetic that is authentically SITE Santa Fe. 

Together with SHoP Architects and General Contractor Sarcon Construction, UAP developed an external cladding system that fit the architect's creative and design intent. Utilising advanced manufacturing technologies, the development of the design was driven by computational design scripts written in Grasshopper. Fabricated in aluminium, the cladding is comprised of a series of unique folded and perforated panels that when layered, create a dynamic moiré effect. The resulting feature unifies SITE's original building with the new extension, inviting people into the museum and creating new spaces for public gathering.

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