Warehouse 21 (W21) is Santa Fe’s nationally acclaimed community center for youth entertainment, entrepreneurialism and artistic production for individuals under the age of 21. Located in the Railyard district of Santa Fe W21 is the premiere location for the youth of Santa Fe to gather, learn and express themselves.

Warehouse 21 is designed to be simple and utilitarian, yet provide a sense of community for the teen culture of Santa Fe.  A wide range of arts programs will be hosted at warehouse 21 including: fashion design, visual arts, digital media arts, performing arts, music and art installations.  The following user requirements became the design themes for Warehouse 21:

The building will be flexible and adapt over time.  Its spaces shall be able to host a variety of functions.

Warehouse 21 will be a warehouse.  It will have an industrial character to reflect the utilitarian purpose of the facility and its setting in the Railyard.

It will have performance spaces capable of hosting concerts, dances, theater, films and community events.

Warehouse 21 shall be a place for art.  It will have a variety of spaces to both make and display art.

The building will be a canvas for art. The building will be designed so that young artists will decorate it and its appearance will change over time.

It will be place for community.  Santa Feans of all ages will come to Warehouse 21 to gather, experience art and express themselves.

Design Elements  
The design is a flexible “core and shell structure”, that can be further adapted by users as the organization expands and evolves.  It houses visual arts, digital arts and fashion design studios.  It also contains two performance spaces; a concert hall and a black box performance area.  Each is capable of seating 300 people and is designed to be flexible with quality acoustics for both national and local acts.  A recording studio is attached to the upper level performance space, providing the ability to record both performances and studio sessions.  A double height lobby doubles as circulation space and as a lounge for teens to relax and converse.

Strategically placed windows and skylights with “sunbender” devices will provide abundant daylight to the interior while solar collectors heat domestic water, resulting in significant energy savings for this non-profit organization.  In keeping with the industrial aesthetic of the Railyard, mechanical equipment is left visible and exposed, allowing teens to see how a building works.  The exterior consists of simple corrugated metal panels and blank stucco walls that serve as a canvas for young artists, giving teens as much responsibility as the architect for the building’s final appearance.   A canopy extends along the railroad tracks, providing a good connection to the Railyard and making this the public side of the building.