round glass facade greets visitors to the transformation of the Denver Art Museum

the imposing denver art museum is renewed and expanded

the denver art museum (DAM) will reopen to the public next month, October 24, 2021 – after being partially closed for many years – with its expanded and revised campus designed by architects machado silvetti and fentress.

the original lanny and sharon martin building – formerly called north building or ponti – was designed by famous italian architect gio ponti and opened in 1971 as a seven-story tower; it was the very first high-rise art museum and its only completed building in north america. millions of reflective tiles cover the exterior of the building, and its twin-tower facade has long been an iconic feature of the city. this fall, the museum unveils the $ 150 million renovation and expansion project, while celebrating the inauguration of the martin building on its 50th anniversary.

all images courtesy of the denver art museum (DAM)

a transparent elliptical facade accessible from all sides

designed by american firms machado silvetti and fentress architects, and built by saunders construction, the changes incorporate a new visitor center, relocated galleries and creative spaces for education, events and catering. the new complex is characterized by the oval glass structure, which welcomes visitors and seamlessly connects all aspects of the museum campus. Spanning 50,000 square feet (4,645 m²) and spanning two levels, the sie Visitor Center is distinguished by its unique façade, which is comprised of a series of curved structural glass panels with insulating glazing.

“To create the new sie visitor center within the rich architectural context of Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District, it was essential for us to design a structure that simultaneously dialogues with the vibrant visual language of ponti and studio designs. libeskind, while providing a connection to the Museum. With its elliptical shape accessible from all angles and its transparent glass facade, the sie visitor center is an inviting and bright beacon to welcome all visitors. said jorge silvetti, director of machado silvetti. “An unprecedented feat of engineering and the first building to use curved glass panels in this way.”

round glass facade greets visitors to the transformation of the Denver Art Museum
the original steel tube-shaped entrance has been restored

the museum acts as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the “golden triangle”

after the dynamic expansion and addition to the existing museum, – dubbed the Hamilton building designed by american architect daniel libeskind, and opened in 2006 – the museum served as a catalyst for the revival of the surrounding creative district of the ‘triangle of gold”. over the past decade, three adjacent museums have opened in the neighborhood, creating a cultural hub; the clyfford still museum, the colorado history center and the kirkland museum of fine and decorative arts. Along with this, new residential and commercial projects, independent art galleries, restaurants and retail outlets, form a vibrant district with arts and culture as a focal point.

the project includes an extension including a new gallery and public space, realizing the ponti vision for visitor access to remarkable ground views, the addition of skylights that reveal new building design angles and exterior improvements such as lighting and revitalizing the glass tiles on the facade of the building.

round glass facade greets visitors to the transformation of the Denver Art Museum
the original building is covered with millions of reflective tiles

a series of creative activities and events will follow the reopening of the martin building. the museum opens its completed campus to the public on sunday 24 october, with free entry for all. reservations are available from September 17 on the museum website (available here).

round glass facade greets visitors to the transformation of the Denver Art Museum
elliptical shaped reception center

elliptical glass facade to welcome visitors to the Denver Art Museum's transformation this fall
night view of the transparent reception center


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