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The new welcome center of the Denver Art Museum in America invites visitors with its structural glass panels and guides them through the museum.

Founded in 1923, the Denver Art Museum is comprised of several notable works of architecture: a museum tower by the Gio Ponti, completed in 1971; a temporary exhibition building designed by Daniel Libeskind (2007); a Michael Graves public library and a private museum by Allied Works. These buildings needed a strategic unification for the creation of a civic place, clear orientation, and a coherent experience of the entire museum. Designed by Machado Silvetti in collaboration with Fentress Architects, the new proposal introduces a welcome center at the heart of the campus.

Rounded in the plan, the new building’s form was inspired by an elliptical auditorium that Ponti had originally intended for the museum. Clad in curved, structural glass panels, with each panel measuring 7.6 meters tall and 2.4 meters wide the welcome center offers expansive views.

The structure provides ticketing and amenities on the ground floor with access to all wings of the museum. On the second floor of the welcome center is an immense grand events space seeming to hover above the ground. In addition to the welcome center, architects also updated the Gio Ponti-designed towers in terms of energy performance and renovated spaces of learning and engagement to upgrade these spaces to the needs of today.

Photography: © James Florio