Building Inspiration

Renovating Ponti's Icon

OVERVIEW

Thanks to the thousands of visitors that experience transformative experiences with art each year, the DAM is in the top 20 most attended art museums in North America. Home to award-winning exhibitions and top-tier programs for all ages, the DAM is a place for shared, hands-on experiences, an appreciation for diverse cultures, and personal expression. It is a beacon for creativity and innovation, the very qualities that make our city great.

Nearing the 50th anniversary of the Gio Ponti-designed North Building, and more than a decade since the opening of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, it is time to look toward the next milestone in our evolution.

The North Building project will expand the museum’s ability to serve the community, welcome guests to our city, and preserve and present priceless works of art from cultures around the world and throughout history for generations to come.

November 19, 2017, was the last day for the public to explore and enjoy the North Building galleries until renovations are completed. In preparation for renovation, Palettes restaurant served its last meal on September 10 after 20 years of incredible service.

During construction, the Hamilton Building is buzzing with activity, and is now open seven days a week. View current exhibitions here.

Crane hoisting a steel beam at the North Building construction site

Construction Updates

November 2018 

Progress continues on the new welcome center with structural steel completely erected for the lower, first, and second levels. The roof truss structure is in progress with topping out anticipated in December.

Within the North Building, the new elevator core structure is topped out, with finishes and equipment installation starting soon. The perimeter wall framing and sheathing is complete on levels 2 through 7, and the exterior windows are in progress. The perimeter walls feature energy-efficient insulation, a vapor barrier, full sheet plywood, and drywall. The new perimeter wall system will provide lower energy use, help to manage humidity and temperatures, and provide ample backing for art installation.

The major mechanical system upgrades are ongoing and includes the construction commencing for a new generator enclosure structure.

North building

Renovation Milestones

See a timeline of project milestones.

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Gift Announcements

Gift Announcements

Read more about the individual donors and foundations in our community that have pledged significant gifts to the North Building renovation project.

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A Modernist Gem

A Modernist Gem

The North Building was designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates. Its 7-story silhouette is celebrated as one of the first high-rise art museums, and is the only completed building in North America designed by the renowned Italian modernist.

Rendering of entrance to the North Building and Welcome Center

Architectural Partners

Fentress Architects of Denver and Boston-based Machado Silvetti have been selected to design and administer the construction of the project, following a master plan study developed by Tryba Architects.

Architectural rendering of North Building revitalization project, aerial view at dusk

Key Elements

Key project elements include bringing the museum’s renowned educational programs to the center of the campus, expanding gallery spaces for growing collections, including design and western American art, completing Ponti’s original vision for visitor access to stunning 7th-floor views, exterior site improvements, and updating environmental and other key systems to current-generation technology.

Rendering of North entrance and Welcome Center

Proposed architectural rendering of North Building from the Cultural Center Complex Garage. Courtesy of Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti.

Proposed architectural rendering of view of the North Building from 14th Ave. Courtesy of Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti.

Proposed architectural rendering of an aerial view of the North Building. Courtesy of Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti.

Proposed architectural rendering of terrace on Level 7 of the North Building. Courtesy of Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti.

View of the North Building and Frederic C. Hamilton Building prow, taken from the parking garage, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

View of the North Building and Frederic C. Hamilton Building prow, taken from the parking garage, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

View of the North Building and skyline at sunset, taken from the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

View of the North Building and skyline at sunset, taken from the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

View of the North Building's original entrance, later used as a school group entrance, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

View of the North Building's original entrance, later used as a school group entrance, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

Profile view of the North Building's original entrance, later used as a school group entrance, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

Profile view of the North Building's original entrance, later used as a school group entrance, 2015. Photograph © James Florio.

Photograph of Italian architect Gio Ponti standing in a doorway photographed by Paolo Gasparini

Paolo Gasparini, Portrait of Gio Ponti, about 1955. Courtesy Gio Ponti Archives.

Architectural model of the Denver Art Museum's North Building created in 1966 by modern architect Gio Ponti and James Sudler Associates

Gio Ponti and James Sudler Associates, Model of the Denver Art Museum, 1966. Painted cardboard. Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 1991.859.

North Building under construction in 1969. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

North Building under construction in 1969. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Visitors entering the Denver Art Museum's North Building in 1971

Entrance to the North Building, 1971. Photograph © Wayne Thom.

Exterior view of the North Building in 1971 detailing architectural elements designed by Gio Ponti

Exterior view of the North Building, 1971. Photograph © Wayne Thom.

North Building renovation images
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