Project Description: The Denver Art Museum's new, privately funded administration building is complete. The 50,000-square-foot building, designed to house more than 100 museum employees, including administrative staff, curators and educators, is located immediately west of the museum's Frederic C. Hamilton Building and directly south of the Clyfford Still Museum on the site of a former staff parking lot. The new building, which will enable greater efficiencies and increased collaboration among museum staff, contains the research-focused Frederick R. Mayer Library, and 9,000 square feet of collection storage, opening up more space inside the museum’s North Building for public programs and exhibitions. Architecturally, the three iconic buildings surrounding the new office building will continue to anchor the site.
Location: 1226 N. Bannock St., Denver, Colorado 80204
Ground Breaking: April 2013
Project Completion: April 2014
Total Square Footage: 50,000 square feet
Major Design Features: The administration building, with two floors above grade and one below, was designed to complement neighboring structures along Bannock Street. Externally, the building's façade, featuring glass and light-colored stone, introduces an elegant, welcoming aesthetic and inviting presence at street level. Internally, an open floor plan and multitude of gathering spaces create greater opportunities for collaboration and connection. A clerestory-raised roof and three-story lightwell positioned above the exposed main staircase bring daylight into the full depth of the interior, encouraging more productive interaction during the day. The two upper floors feature flexible, impromptu meeting areas and workstations around the perimeter to stimulate communication and allow museum staff to function more effectively across departments.
Architectural Specifics: From an architectural perspective, the new building establishes a horizontal foreground that visually extends the base of the Clyfford Still Museum while subtly mirroring the geographic plains of Colorado. The underlying elegance of the office building's exterior also allows the verticality of the Hamilton and North buildings to "read" without visual competition. While the museum's existing buildings were designed as "protectors of art"—solid in their massing and sculptural in form—the new, centrally located administration building is more open and transparent. This allows the alley that runs within the museum complex to the East (renamed Still Way) to serve as a connector between the museum's vibrant inner culture and the surrounding community. On the street side, a strong sense of connection between the inner workings of the DAM and passersby, guests and volunteers is reinforced by a transparent colored glass wall depicting the arbitrary ripples formed when a sheer curtain billows in a breeze.
Primary Architect: Roth Sheppard Architects, 1900 Wazee Street, Suite 100, Denver, Colorado 80202
About Roth Sheppard Architects: Denver-based Roth Sheppard Architects, the 2012 AIA-Western Mountain Region 'Architectural Firm of the Year' was founded in 1983. With more than 75 AIA design awards and 24 awards from the ASID, IIDA, Architectural Record and other design associations over the last two decades, Roth Sheppard is best known for its ground-breaking design of more than 50 restaurants and high-end retail stores as well as nearly 60 high-profile law enforcement facilities across the nation. Recognized for creating architecture that speaks to its time and place, yet remains respectful of its history and precedence, Roth Sheppard’s design work layers art, technology and functional considerations while honoring the fundamental clarity of modernism. Recently completed projects include the Denver Art Museum's administration building, Sushi Den's new Izakaya Den restaurant, the Denver Art Museum's museum shop, multiple Colorado-based Tokyo Joe’s restaurants, Modmarket in Boulder and Goodwill Industries' new Déjà Blue high-end retail boutique in Cherry Creek, Colorado. For further information, visit www.rothsheppard.com.
General Contractor: Saunders Construction, Inc.
Saunders Construction is one of the most respected commercial builders in the Rocky Mountain region. Saunders is recognized for commitment and focus that help turn ideas into projects and projects into landmarks. They are one of the region’s largest general contractors and are the recipient of more than 100 industry awards for its construction excellence, employee achievements and community contributions. As the general contractor on the Clyfford Still Museum, Saunders is proud to continue their commitment to the arts with the Denver Art Museum’s new staff building. For additional information, visit www.saundersci.com.
Director: Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum
Total Project Cost: $11.5 million
Funding: This project was built with funds raised privately from museum supporters including Jan Mayer, The Boeckman Family Foundation, J. Landis Martin, Frederic C. Hamilton, Noël and Tom Congdon, as well as various members of the board of trustees and other generous donors. No public funding was used to construct the museum's new administration building.