Santa Fe Community Convention Center

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Fentress Architects won the new Santa Fe Community Convention Center in a national design competition. 

Fentress’ design for Santa Fe represents a completely unconventional, innovative approach to convention center architecture.  While typical centers are large, imposing boxes walled off from the community, the new Santa Fe Community Convention Center fully engages its neighboring streets and, architecturally, has no visible backdoor. In fact, the city requires new construction follow strict design guidelines in its popular historic downtown. Therefore, portals and zaguans disguise the building’s mass, and keep it from overpowering the intimate scale of Santa Fe.

Flexibility & Functionality

The Fentress design is inherently flexible.  It allows the building to be reconfigured for a diverse set of concurrent users. The interconnected courtyard, meeting rooms, and exhibit space can each be used independently or together, allowing for multiple events to occur at the same time without intruding on each other and for revenue generating functions to be booked during weekends or evenings.

The shielded service courtyard allows space for deliveries in a concealed area, and eliminates the sight of an expanse of loading docks facing the street. Similarly, the drop off point was relocated off the main street to prevent a backlog of traffic during events. The courtyard engages with the existing City Hall plaza, while pedestrian connections draw people through the Center and provide access to parking and City Hall. The pocket park creates an additional connection to the surrounding area and is an asset to the community.

Award-Winning Design

  • Citation Award, AIA Santa Fe, 2012
  • “Sustaining the Character” Heritage Preservation Award, City of Santa Fe Historic Design Review Board and Archaeological Review Committee, 2009
  • Merit Award (Outstanding Special Use Facility), Gold Nugget Awards Pacific Coast Builders Conference, 2009
  • Best of 2008 Award (Design and Construction), Southwest Contractor Magazine, 2008

USGBC LEED Gold-Certified

Sustainable design strategies include:

  • Low-flow fixtures reduce water consumption by 40 percent.
  • Rain harvesting system to capture and store rain that falls on the roof for xeriscaping irrigation
  • Roof garden and Energy Star-rated roofing materials to reflect heat loads and reduce building cooling loads
  • Paints, adhesives, coatings and sealants contain no or low VOCs
  • 88-percent of materials salvaged from demolished center was recycled
  • Recycled and salvaged 75-percent of construction waste and demolition debris
  • Center-wide recycling program