Allegretti Architects Santa Fe, New Mexico
Museums have been called “modern day cathedrals of art and architecture”. Ironically, this analogy may be faithful in an all too uncomplimentary sense. Museums and galleries which display contemporary works enjoy the opportunity for bright natural light and views to the outdoors. An architect’s design for the exhibitions of fine art and fragile artifacts however, will tolerate no such indulgence. These exhibits demand meticulous environmental conditions. Curatorial standards limit the intensity of light falling on the artwork in order to prevent fading and damage over time. The architect is required to create precise control of temperature and humidity impose practical limits on the abundance of exterior doors and windows. The ideal curatorial result is a dim environment, isolated from the natural world.
So it seems that the dark, cool interiors of the world’s giant stone cathedrals are not unlike the galleries of many contemporary museum environments. The challenge for the modern museum architect is therefore to create exciting and lively exhibit spaces within curatorial restrictions. With great creative skill and a few tricks though, the result can be amazing.
In 1996, Greg Allegretti was selected as associate architect for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum accompanying project architect Richard Gluckman & Associates. The Santa Fe museum opened ten months later and is now enjoyed by thousands of visitors annually.
Allegretti has continued to support the O’Keefe Museum as project architect for the renovation of a century-old historic Santa Fe building for the O’Keeffe Museum Café. In 2000, Allegretti Architects collaborated with the design team that adapted and expanded another nearby historic building which now serves as a research center for the O’Keeffe Museum. Since 2001, Mr. Allegretti has served as consulting project architect for ongoing exhibit construction at SITE Santa Fe, a contemporary art space. These shows have included a series of biennial exhibits which have attracted visitors nationally and internationally. In 2005, Allegretti participated as project architect on a team that designed and administered construction of a complex exhibit installation for the El Camino Real International Heritage Center in Socorro, New Mexico. Other exhibit projects include the ground-up design of a new facility for a new gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe.
Since 1992, Allegretti has been principal of a firm of Santa Fe architects and has created elegant homes and buildings in northern New Mexico. Allegretti specializes in green building and sustainable design.