The Space

Photoshoot-Louis Leray

 Photo: Louis Leray

Adriana Siso conceptualized and built Molecule Design, the first ISO Shipping Container building in Santa Fe, NM. Located in the Flagman Way, Baca Railyard area, and completed in the fall of 2010. The innovative and unique container building housed her contemporary industrial design store in Santa Fe. The previous store incarnation was founded in 2002 in another location. Since then, Adriana has partnered with some of the best innovative industrial design firms in the world. Through the Molecule space in Santa Fe, Adriana also partnered with and supported the work of local artists, designers and fabricators.


The space:

Built by Borrego Construction for the available LL lot in 1226 Flagman Way of the Santa Fe Railyard Redevelopment District, the exciting commercial and entertainment center southwest of the Plaza, which includes The Farmers Market, Site Santa Fe and the mid-city park, which has been an energizing project for the Santa Fe area.

- 11 High-Cube, 40' Grade A (recycled) freight ISO containers were used and spray-foam insulated between the exterior container wall and the Galvalume sheeting. Frosted polycarbonate panels were used for daylighting and luminosity and to close the atrium area that ties the 2 rows of stacked containers. An energy efficient cooling and heating system as well as LED reflectors add to energy conservation. A water catchment system collects water for landscape irrigation. Zero wood was used on the project. Container wall cutouts were re-purposed for building skirts. A local engineer oversaw both the structural and foundation. Containers are stacked to form 2 floors accessed by stairs and a small commercial elevator. Foundation is concrete piers and slab.

The building was sold in June 2022. At the moment, Molecule Design continues to operate as usual through the Molecule Design online store serving a national audience and by appointment in Santa Fe.

Team and credits:

"I want to thank the amazing team that helped me give form to the shipping container building idea that would house my design store for ten successful and inspired years, as well as each one of you, who have supported us along the way.

We hosted some awesome events at the space, launching new industrial design products by some of our great international and national partners, and also creating wonderful environments and pop-up events for our amazing local artists, designers and fabricators".


How it all got started ~

"From conception to completion, I worked on the plan for a few years, spending numerous months researching containers and their different types per use, transportation details, availability and costs. Diffusing light materials to use as roofing and walls and general ways of considering shipping containers for residential and commercial projects took many hours of my life around 2006.

I approached the Santa Fe Railyard with some renderings that were immediately accepted, but needed updating to meet the Railyard architectural and urban master plan which referred to simple massing for retail spaces.

Inquiring about prefab methods of building, I met Santa Fe architect Jerry Chavez. We hit if off right away. Jerry was very creative and loved collaborating on the idea of using containers for my store building. Jerry had worked as a student at the Frank Gehry studio in L.A. so he didn't have a hard time thinking outside the box. We spent many hours that turned into months brainstorming about crazy ideas, like suspending showroom areas on floating platforms over gravel. The sky was the limit in visualizing concepts, but we had to come back to containers.  Jerry helped translate my lego-block proposal into doable construction-to-code plans. Then, I found Jim Borrego from Borrego Construction who initially saw the renderings, and said, "piece of cake"! And that's how it was born. Jim was hands on, working with the construction team every step of the way, going up on the 24' high roof to get stuff done, figuring out details of installation and generally being his natural supportive self throughout the process.


"The Molecule building became a landmark in Santa Fe. Through ten years of use for the Molecule Design Store, many people visited, not only to see the unusual building, but also to become familiar with some of the contemporary innovative design products we carried and to also participate in our art and design events".

We're not going anywhere ~

Keep in contact with us through our online store as we are still operating as usual, connected to our great manufacturers and partners. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for any updates of our activities. 

Thank you to all who have supported us through these good ten years at the Flagman Way location and who have been connected with us through our beginnings in 2002.

Grateful ~

  • Construction - Borrego Construction
  • Architecture planning and permitting - Gerald Chavez Architect
  • Engineering - Bill Druc
  • Lamoreux Crane Services, Inc.
  • Pat Maloy - Maloy Mobile Storage
  • The Art & Design community of Santa Fe
  • The Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Our beautiful and loyal customers

For more content from us, follow us on Facebook: Molecule DesignBoxHaus, and our blog InContext-Molecule Design Blog.


Adriana Siso

Molecule LLC