Denver Art Museum breaks ground on $150 million North Building renovation

Construction on the $150 million renovation of the Gio Ponti-designed North Building at Denver Art Museum began yesterday. The work should be completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the structure in 2021.

The project will create more than 33,000 square feet of new public space including a welcome centre featuring fast-casual dining, formal dining and expanded event spaces. There will also be a new area for hands-on creative activities, performance and student showcases as well as a conservation lab where the public can watch art conservators as they work. Additionally, a new Design and Graphics Gallery will display the museum’s renowned collection, including the AIGA Design Archive.

When the work is complete the Bonfils-Stanton Gallery will reopen to host collection-based exhibitions and experiences and the Western American Art galleries will have been expanded. The renovation will also create new outdoor space and improve existing outdoor areas.

The work is being partly funded by a $25 million gift that Denver Art Museum received from the chairman of its board, J. Landis Martin, and his wife, Sharon. The seven-story modernist structure is to be renamed be renamed the J. Landis and Sharon Martin Building.

The project has also received more than $35 million from the city of Denver as part of a bond process to help fund compliance with disability requirements.

Originally designed by renowned Italian architect Gio Ponti, the renovation of the North Building is being handled by Ponti expert Jorge Silvetti of Machado Silvetti alongside Fentress Architects.

Last month, Denver Art Museum announced that it will host an exclusive Rembrandt exhibit to coincide with the 350th anniversary of his death in 2018. The exhibition will include more than 100 of his famous etchings, paintings and drawings.

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