El Museo Cultural is a center of Hispanic culture and learning. El Museo lies in the heart of Santa Fe’s new contemporary arts district. The building is adjacent to several rail lines and this competition requested that there be a new façade treatment on the east (railway facing) side of the building.
Our proposal opted not to touch the façade of the building at all but rather form a free-staining line of translucent objects to screen the rail line from the building edge and create a parkway / walking plaza between them and the existing building. The forms are made of lightweight steel framework and enclosed in plastic wrap, the type that boats in dry dock are wrapped with. Flood lights inside turn these into large lanterns akin to Akari Lamps. We proposed the building be painted in a brilliant magenta color as a backdrop for the new urban lanterns.