The Aperture Center
responds to the conditions of site while addressing the deep time of New
Mexico. The dramatic University Blvd. approach to the building sets the
Aperture Center as a distant abstract foreground to Guadalupe peak. The glass
facade with multiple missions of iconography, sustainability, and public
theater backdrop for video projection at night, is a spatial “catcher’s
mitt” for the University Blvd. axis. The building is an artifact
of the site – an ancient weathered presence like bones you might
find in the high desert. It’s an exploration of different aspects
of bone – from the cross sectional beauty of bone’s lattice
structure to volumetric fragments. The building is an urban activator
on all sides: the visually permeable arcing glass wall activates a park
to the west, the east side faces parking for retail and restaurant access,
and the north and south sides loosely conform to the street edges. The
arrangement of entries, and the building’s porosity to pedestrians
focus the social life on the outdoor environment.
The internal life of the building anticipates a variety of user types. The ground floor is almost entirely devoted to retail planned to include cafés, business services, boutiques, a two-story restaurant with a mountain view terrace, and a visitor center with local area and leasing information for potential residents. The University of New Mexico Film and Digital Media Center, an experimental program with a screening theater, film editing suites, and instructional studios, is conceived as an arm of the main Arc volume connected by a glass bridge. A mosaic of student video works-in-progress activates the north street edge. Lining the multiple surfaces of the entry lobby volume, this video array communicates the continuum of film arts in New Mexico.
In association with Executive Architect Jon Anderson.