Founded in 1923, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) is an anchor in the cultural ecosystem of Denver and the Rocky Mountain region. Known internationally for its collections of art from the Americas as well as for its strategies for engaging visitors of all ages, the DAM serves a broad spectrum of audience throughout its campus. The DAM is the primary encyclopedic art museum in the state and a destination for major traveling exhibitions from around the world and serves an estimated 650,000 visitors each year and is home to more than 70,000 art objects.
The DAM campus is comprised of several notable works of exuberant architecture: a 7-story, museum tower designed by the Italian Architect Gio Ponti and completed in 1971; a bold angular temporary exhibition building designed by Daniel Libeskind (2007); a Michael Graves public library and a private museum by Allied Works.
These buildings, each incredible in their own right, are wanting for a strategic unification that creates a real civic place, clear orientation and a coherent experience of the entire museum. With this in mind we have designed a Welcome Center at the heart of the campus that provides ticketing and amenities at the ground floor with access to all wings of the museum. On the second floor of the Welcome Center is an immense grand events space seeming to hover above the grounds; 25' high lites of glass make this a veritable living room in the city.
In addition to the Welcome Center we are designing a major renovation and enhancement to the Gio Ponti towers and the site. We are upgrading the energy performance of the towers, which includes replacing all exterior insulated walls from the inside, so as not to disturb the original glass tile facades. We are also transforming spaces for learning and engagement, building on their pioneering efforts in arts education to enhance quality and reach, celebrating and unlocking human potential through the arts.
Machado Silvetti is Design Architect, in collaboration with Architect of Record, Denver-based Fentress Architects.