The Two Campuses of Santa Fe Institute
For more than 35 years, a team of renowned scientists have been forging a science for the interconnected world from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
As a visiting institution, we host our community on two distinct campuses in the western foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. We have designed our spaces to facilitate the removal of barriers to research, education and creativity. Both locations provide opportunities for solitary work and collaborative exchange.
High on a hill, 7,500 feet above sea level in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Cowan Campus has served as the research hub for the Santa Fe Institute for nearly 30 years.
The original estate was built in 1959 for Brigadier General Patrick J. Hurley, a politician and attorney. Hurley was the 51st United States Secretary of War serving under President Hoover from 1929 - 1933, and US Ambassador to China serving from 1944 - 1945 under Franklin Roosevelt. He designed the buildings to host large events which brought together a global network under one roof.
SFI, after being transient in Santa Fe for many years (including alighting for a time in a former Convent), found its home in 1994. The campus architecture reflects the Territorial style endemic to New Mexico. The 32.5 acres of hillside landscape are crisscrossed by walking trails, providing spectacular views of Santa Fe and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.
Architect Jeff Harner worked with SFI to expand the original building to facilitate collaborative research and what we call the “the pods” was born in 1998. These pods were built to provide small, usually shared offices with large open interactive spaces at the center. They increased the campus’s working space to 20,000 square feet.
Twelve miles from Cowan Campus, in the village of Tesuque, SFI is building its Miller Campus.
The 36 acre property, gifted by Eugene and Clare Thaw in March 2013, provides SFI with an additional location from which to carry out its mission for research and education. As Gene said, “I’d like it to be a place where they can have gatherings of all sorts, and where individuals, visiting scholars, people of interest, can come and simply spend time and have a very pleasant and physically inspiring place to do their work. And I think work of that sort is often done in that kind of seclusion, in that kind of atmosphere.”
In the spirt of Thaw’s gift, William H. Miller, a longtime supporter of SFI, has driven the development of the property since 2019. The continued renovation of the existing buildings and infrastructure has provided space to grow and expand SFI’s current education programming and of complexity science’s big ideas and insights into the world.
Architect Tom Easterson-Bond is working with SFI to nestle the campus into the Tesuque Valley and create an inspiring space for scholarly thought, effective education, collaborative interactions and monastic seclusion.
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