The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is rejuvenating and reimagining the historic theater, lobby and plaza on the east side of the museum to bring about extraordinary new possibilities for the community. The updated campus-style venue and gathering place promises to create a fluid environment between indoor and outdoor spaces, fundamentally changing the way guests engage with the Museum as well as City Park and the surrounding area. The result will be greater opportunities for interaction, engagement and connection among visitors, Museum partners, local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The East Wing Project is made possible by a $20 million contribution from the Sturm Family Foundation, the largest private donation in the Museum’s history. This is a powerful gift that will have a historic impact and benefit the community for decades to come.
“We would like to thank the Sturm Family Foundation for bringing their vision for the East Wing Project to life. What we hope to accomplish goes far beyond bricks and mortar – we are creating a new connected landscape of indoor and outdoor spaces that aligns with our community’s desires while empowering the Museum to carry out new programs, sustain our operations through business opportunities and drive our mission forward,” said George Sparks, president and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
The initial phase of the project has already been completed and involved the creation of the first-class giant screen Infinity Theater. Upgrades included a new cutting-edge projection system, enhanced accessibility features such as a hearing induction loop, the installation of a level stage for hosting lectures and other events and a fresh new look for the lobby, among others. Open Studio Architecture is the architect of record for the project.
The second phase, which is now underway, will involve upgrading and renovating the remainder of the East Wing and Plaza. These state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor spaces will open the Museum to new activities and science demonstrations, provide enhanced film experiences and educational opportunities for camp-goers and school groups and invite curious park-goers to enjoy a meal on the east plaza. Expanded partnerships with leading local organizations will naturally result, attracting exciting feature films and connecting artists to Museum audiences. In addition, the grand scale of the site will allow it to accommodate everything from VIP receptions to outdoor programming for free days.
“We are grateful to collaborate with the Museum on a transformative and comprehensive renovation. This investment in the Museum’s infrastructure lays the groundwork for new ways to experience the Museum – inside and out,” said Donald Sturm, chair of the Sturm Family Foundation.
Construction will begin late 2024, with a new theater outdoor entrance expected to open to the public in 2025.