Descartes Labs

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The recently remodeled interior of the former bank building at Guadalupe and Alameda within Santa Fe’s historic district is now the new headquarters for Descartes Labs and its growing team of scientists.

The interior transformation is designed to demonstrate the company’s leadership in geospacial analytics and mapping technologies and creates a fun and flexible space for staff and guests.

Respecting the building’s original presence by retaining certain architectural elements that emphasize the traditional design of the region, the design team gave direction for repair and refinishing the existing wood floors, timber vigas, and tall walls of plaster to revitalize the former bank lobby and surrounding executive offices. Repurposed as a central lounge with perimeter meeting rooms for gathering and team work, a new blackened steel structure stair atop wood platforms is positioned where the teller line once stood and gives direct connection to the second floor open office of workstations. The wood and steel stair is contrasted by an adjacent monumental wall of polished granite with a color and grain that curiously resembles satellite imagery.

Demolishing the wall partitions that cut up the existing space into small rooms, the second floor was reinvented as a contemporary open workspace with abundant daylight and views.

An existing roof patio extends from this space giving direct access to an alternative open air work and interaction place.

Design Build with Sarcon Construction. Photography by Kirk Gittings.

Project Highlights 

  • 15,000 sf renovation
  • Completed 2018
  • Flexible configuration with open office and interaction spaces