Denver Art Museum Partners with OMA New York to Realize New Design Galleries

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will unveil its new design galleries and hands-on design studio on June 6, 2020, as part of the phased reopening of the newly renovated Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building (formerly North Building). The DAM chose OMA New York to help realize the design for nearly 10,000 square feet of new and renovated space within the building’s original footprint.  The inaugural installation will feature more than 400 objects spanning two exhibitions: By Design: Stories and Ideas Behind Objects and Gio Ponti: Designer of a Thousand Talents.

Part of an overall campus reunification and building renovation project led by Machado Silvetti and Fentress Architects, the new design galleries were created by bisecting the museum’s original Stanton Gallery on level 1 horizontally to create a brand new space without expanding the building’s footprint. Both inaugural exhibitions, as well as the Amanda J. Precourt Galleries and the Ellen Bruss Design Studio, have been designed by OMA New York and Shohei Shigematsu, OMA partner. DAM’s inaugural collaboration with OMA resulted in the stunning exhibition design for Dior: From Paris to the World, presented in winter 2018.

“Our teams are hard at work installing galleries and interactive, creative spaces to welcome our community back to their Denver Art Museum this summer,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer director of the DAM. “June 2020 will be the first opportunity for our visitors to experience the architecture and design collection in a new, expansive space that can offer a deeper look into design-based creativity and process.”

The Amanda J. Precourt Galleries, the Joanne Posner-Mayer Mezzanine Gallery and the Ellen Bruss Design Studio will present an experience that connects the DAM’s architecture and design collection while simultaneously providing dynamic spaces for visitors to engage with design materials, create artwork, and respond directly to the objects and ideas presented in the exhibition space. Comprising nearly 19,000 works dating from the sixteenth century to the present day, the DAM’s architecture and design collection encompasses one of the most preeminent modern and contemporary design collections of any comprehensive museum in the U.S., featuring a broad range of design practices, including architecture, furniture and industrial and graphic design.

“We are honored to collaborate once again with the Denver Art Museum. It is exciting to design a new space within the historic Gio Ponti building and draw from his extensive, multi-faceted design philosophy,” said Shohei Shigematsu, OMA partner. “The role of design in society is always changing and ever diversifying. Galleries need to react to these changes, beyond posing new ways of seeing. The three new spaces are more than just galleries for consuming design. They each have their own spatial and programmatic identities but work collectively as a platform for discourse around the boundless contexts of design.”

Rendering courtesy of DAM

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