The June 2020 reopening date will be the first of several phased openings of the renovated Martin Building, with the entire building reopened to the public by its 50th anniversary at the end of 2021.
The iconic Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building renovation and new glass-clad Sie Welcome Center design were masterfully led by Machado Silvetti and Fentress Architects and constructed by Saunders Construction. The project includes more than 83,000 square feet of new space. In addition, top-to-bottom renovations on the iconic multi-story Martin Building will enable greater public access and expanded programming for the nearly 800,000 visitors who come to the DAM annually.
The $150 million project was funded in part with $35.5 million from the voter-approved Elevate Denver bond program, with public investment supported at a 3-to-1 ratio with privately raised funds. The DAM’s renovation project, on budget and on time, marks the first major Elevate Denver project to be completed since voters approved the funding in November 2017.
“Today the Denver Art Museum celebrates a significant milestone in its journey toward expanding public access to our collections and programs,” said Christoph Heinrich, the Frederick and Jan Mayer director of the DAM. “Our hard construction is over. Now, we enter the museum-making phase, where our staff will turn these incredible new spaces into an engaging, welcoming and interactive art museum for all.”
New spaces opening in June 2020 include the Sie Welcome Center, as well as the Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center, which will place the museum’s nationally recognized educational programming at the center of the campus.
In the Martin Building, a refurbished Bonfils-Stanton Gallery, new Amanda J. Precourt Design Galleries and interactive space, and a newly renovated and reinstalled Northwest Coast and Alaska Native gallery will be the first art galleries to welcome visitors on levels 1 and 2. The lower level will include a gallery for student and community art exhibitions. The lower level also will house a purpose-built art conservation laboratory with north-facing windows—an essential tool in conservation treatment—that also will enable visitors to get a look at behind-the-scenes preservation work.
The museum is pursuing LEED certification based on design with energy efficient systems, low-flow water fixtures and a comprehensive construction waste management program. Infrastructure and safety upgrades in the towers include two additional elevators for improved visitor flow, updated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and new exterior wall insulation. Expanded and upgraded exterior spaces will accommodate the more than 200,000 youth who visit the museum free of charge annually, thanks to the DAM’s Free for Kids program, which provides free general admission to all youth 18 and under every day.
The museum’s renovation project is part of the DAM’s long-term vision to create a united footprint, act as stewards to the iconic structure and expand public access to collections and programs. All renovated spaces will reopen in time for the Martin Building’s 50th anniversary at the end of 2021.
Photos courtesy of DAM