CNM Film and New Mexico Media Arts Collective at the Boiler Shop

Albuquerque, New Mexico

SMPC has been working with CNM, the City of Albuquerque, and the New Mexico Economic Development Department to design a new, innovative educational facility for the CNM Film Program and the New Mexico Media Arts Collective (NMMAC).

Sited at the historic ABQ Rail Yards, the CNM Film and NMMAC at the Boiler Shop is a joint-use facility; a planned collaborative workforce development initiative that will teach skills to work in the film production industry. The new instructional facility will include sound stages for filmmaking, classrooms, offices, screening rooms, recording studios, a construction mill, equipment storage and support spaces.

The project includes restoration of the existing historic Boiler Shop shell with updates to comply with historic preservation and life safety requirements. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the design team is working closely with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO).

The design concept uses a “building within a building” strategy as independent buildings nestled under the steel, glass, and concrete shell of the original Boiler Shop. The existing building will remain largely untouched by the new building elements, preserving its historical significance. This will allow students, faculty, and guests to experience the grandeur of the space throughout. Areas such as the main lobby, which will have a large open space with exposed structure, will encourage collaboration and connection by means of a student gallery space, a large learning stair, and a screening room. Through the use of interior accent lighting and super-graphic branding, CNM and NMMAC’s presence will emanate through the glass façade and be visible from the adjacent plaza.

The General Contractor is Franken Construction.


  • Workforce development initiative
  • Digital media, film and tv production studios
  • Collaborative partnerships with higher-Ed institutions state-wide
  • Historic Preservation
  • Adaptive Reuse