Installation of Curved Structural Glass for Denver Art Museum’s New Welcome Center Marks Another Major Milestone

Elliptical glass façade used as structural support for the new welcome center building will be first of its kind in North America 

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) marks another major milestone in its North Building renovation project with the installation of the new welcome center’s curved structural glass.

Photo of suction-cup system provided courtesy of Saunders Construction and Woods Powr-Grip.

A crane using a special suction cup lifter, which can only operate when it is 32 degrees or warmer outside, is used to lift each of the large glass panels. The high-performance structural glass, made up of three layers of 3/8-inch thick glass, was specifically fabricated for the museum’s new welcome center.

A total of 52 glass panels will complete the full elliptical façade of the new public space, with each panel standing 25 feet high and eight feet wide, making it the first structural glass wall façade of this size and scale in North America to hold itself up without the need for intermediate framing.

The welcome center is part of the Denver Art Museum’s $150 million North Building renovation project, which kicked off in early 2018 after receiving $35.5 million from the voter-supported Elevate Denver Bond Program to make critical infrastructure improvements. The new welcome center will be named the Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center when finalized.

The completion of the North Building project will unify the museum’s campus and align with the Hamilton Building’s 21st-century systems and art experiences, including expanded resources for youth and school groups, additional gallery space and improved visitor circulation.

The North Building project’s design has been realized by Fentress Architects of Denver and Boston-based Machado Silvetti, with Saunders Construction as the construction partner. Sentech is the manufacturer for the welcome center’s structural glass and Harmon is the subcontractor installing the elliptical glass façade.

VISUALS

For installation video, images and project interviews, please contact the Communications Department at pressoffice@denverartmuseum.org or 720-913-0000.

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Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Denver metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.

Elevate Denver

Elevate Denver is a 10-year, $937 million general obligation bond program, approved by voters in 2017, to enhance the City and County of Denver by providing critical improvements to the city’s infrastructure—improving roads and sidewalks, parks and recreation centers, libraries and safety facilities, museums, cultural centers, Denver Health and public-owned buildings.