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Denver Art Museum, Gio Ponti's only U.S. building, will get revamp

The cultural institution’s North Building will close in November in preparation for the expansion

The exterior of the Denver Art Museum. The facade is grey and there are multiple windows.
Gio Ponti’s Denver Art Museum building.
Photo via Flickr

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated with the most recent information.

The late, great Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti has been making headlines a lot as of late. First, there was news about efforts to preserve Ponti’s only work in Iran, the Villa Namazee, a private residence built in the late 1950s, which is under threat of demolition to make way for a hotel in the country’s capital, Tehran.

Now, word is that Ponti’s only work in the U.S., the seven-story, 1971-built North Building at the Denver Art Museum, is getting a $150 million revamp, courtesy Boston firm Machado Silvetti and Denver’s Fentress Architects, of Denver International Airport fame.

The building—with its fortress-like, multi-sided shape, glass-tile-clad facade, and irregular, angular windows—embodies in many ways Ponti’s enigmatic modernism.

The revamp will be a big undertaking (adding a total of about 33,000 square feet), and will create better connections between the Ponti building and the jagged 2006 addition by Daniel Libeskind.

According to BusinessDen, specific improvements includes: an education area inside the museum, a pedestrian terrace on the seventh floor, better insulation, an expanded outdoor courtyard, and a new two-story welcome center.

The building will close on November 19 to begin construction. Work is expected to wrap up in 2021, just in time for the museum’s 50th anniversary—that is, if the final part of project funding (about $35.5 million in bonds) is approved in November. The last bit of gap in funding could prolong the construction process.

A rendering of the planned revamp.
Via Machado Silvetti
A rendering of a new welcome center for the Denver Art Museum
Via Dezeen
A model of the planned revamp.
Denver Art Museum

Via: Dezeen