The Denver Art Museum is 146,000 s.f. and was a joint venture with Davis Partnership Architects, the Architect of Record, working with M.A. Mortensen Co. This building is partially symbolic of Denver’s growth and prosperity of a city. The design is also linked to what would be art and useful to the museum curators. I have a fond memory of this building because it was opened in October of 2006, which was when I turned 11. Luckily for my eleven-year-old self, I did not have a birthday party there because back then I barely cared for art. But I remember my school having a field trip there and that was the first time I looked at art as something more than proportionally drawn pictures. Although I do not go to this museum a lot, I constantly drive past it when I go back to Denver and it is always enjoyable to marvel at how they built those shapes.
Denver’s most prestigious library is the Denver Central Library. This building was commissioned to architect Michael Graves in 1990 to renovated and expand on the previous library, which was designed originally by Burnham Hoyt. Graves addition of 405,000 s.f. separates the original identity of Hoyt and Graves own “entertainment” architecture which is traditional post-modern motifs of abstracted classical forms, natural materials, and colors commonly found in past centuries.
The first time I encountered this building I was about six years old and my dad had brought me so that I could pick out a book from the giant library. I remember looking at the very large circular ceilings and having my imagination run wild as if it were a castle. This impression has lasted me to this very day because there is no place I find quite as relaxing as being in this quiet castle and being able to see the city of Denver constantly moving. Every time I return home to Denver I always try to find some excuse to go visit this magnificent building.