Santa Fe New Mexican
Paul Weideman, Staff Writer
The remodeled gallery now known as OTA Contemporary was given an AIA Merit Award last month. The gallery in a prominent location at the corner of Canyon Road and Paseo de Peralta was elegantly modernized by Hoopes + Associates Architects.
“The owners had a vision for this building. We were just the implementers,” said the firm’s principal, Craig Hoopes. “What is wonderful is I think this building shows that contemporary architecture can happen within the Santa Fe vernacular.
The gallery, at about 3,000 square feet, was transformed from a previously existing wood-frame Spanish-Pueblo Revival-style gallery. The new building shows a good deal of glass, stucco, and concrete, with larger windows. “I think people are struck by the fact that they can see into one of the galleries on Canyon Road,” Hoopes said. “If you walk around Florence or Rome, there’s art all around you, but you get to Canyon Road and you can’t see inside most of those galleries.
“The whole plaza was also redone, so there are places for people to sit or to gather. I think the owners, Ed and Kiyomi Baird, have made a significant gift to the city with that. OTA is Kiyomi’s maiden name. She’s an artist and wanted to have a space to show art she felt needed to be seen, and also a place for performance art and conversations about art.”
During the Dec. 14 awards, Juror Carlos Jimenez told the AIA assembly that this project “begins with that kind of singular architecture of Santa Fe, which is a building constructed to appear to have a certain let us say pedigree of time and antiquity… The architects, he said, were able to open up the building, to reconquer the building with spatial and volumetric possibilities, and we were very impressed by the refinement of the language and the subtlety of all the techniques that they used and in fact we discussed many details that we found not only interesting but we all were very keen on using in our own work because we didn’t know you could do this with a jamb or do this with a baseboard.”
Merit Award – OTA Contemporary
Firm: Hoopes + Associates, Architects
Architect: Craig Hoopes AIA and David O’Brien
Owner: Kiyomi and Ed Baird
Contractor: Prull & Associates
Photographer: Kate Russell
“The interior is washed in a soft light, catching subtle exterior reflections while allowing the artwork to be fully viewed.”
“Nice reinterpretation of an urban adobe structure. The exterior is subtle and contextual, but leads to expansive interiors with clean details (we especially liked the baseboard to door-jamb reveal.) The courtyard is the most compelling space in the project, with care given to materials (corten vs stainless steel) and the overall organization of the space.”