When the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building opened in 2006, occupying the east half of the block bounded by W. 13th Avenue, Acoma Plaza, W. 12th Avenue, and Bannock Street, the west half of the block featured nondescript buildings and parking lots—the only exception being the nice historic building at the corner with W. 12th Avenue. In 2012, the Clyfford Still Museum cleaned up the northern half of that side of the block, and now the remaining vacant parcel on the block is being developed. Here’s the site in question:
Recently, the Denver Art Museum began construction on their new 50,000-sf administrative office building that will house 100 museum employees, a research library, and a 9,000-sf storage area for museum collections that will free up space in the museum’s North building for additional exhibit space. The project is designed by local architects Roth Sheppard. Here’s a rendering of the project from the Roth Sheppard website:
The two-story building’s design takes its architectural cues from the Clyfford Still, rather than Libeskind’s Hamilton Building, by taking a minimalist, horizontal approach. The ground floor will feature folded glass panels. Here’s a site photo I took yesterday:
The new building is scheduled to be finished by Spring 2014.
The next project we will be looking at is the recently completed Clyfford Still Museum. This is a great addition to the Denver Art Museum area and to our Civic Center district. Since this is a completed project I will link all the updates below so you can follow the progress.
Just like the History Colorado Center, they did a great job with the landscaping and making this development very welcoming and pleasing to the eye. There is a lot of abstract art in this area on the lawns and passageways. I am glad they continued this with the Clyfford Still Museum.
A lot of civic projects have recently completed in this area. Can you guess which one we will be looking at next?
Since I have started to contribute to DenverInfill about 15 months ago, there were many projects in the works and many updates from then till now. Some of those projects have been completed now and I feel they need that one final update showing the completed product. Today I want to share with you the final update on the History Colorado Center. Below you can follow the legacy from the original announcement on this site..
And today here are some shots of the completed History Colorado Center. One of the things I noticed about this particular project is the landscaping. They did a very good job integrating the museum at the street level and making it very pleasing to the eye. You can also see the large signs for events and exhibits that are posted for both automotive and foot traffic to see.
I never really noticed the broken up glass along 12th Avenue. It definatley adds a unique character and a great modern feel to this development. On the right is the street view from Broadway. It’s hard to tell in this picture but, in the full resolution shot you can see the pedestrians walking down Broadway were looking up at the museum. It is pretty impressive from the grand entrance.
I snapped two bonus pictures for you. I have recently discovered that parking garages are great ways to get up to see some great angles of these developments. Broadway at 12th Avenue sure looks different than it did a couple years ago. Can you spot the people on the top floor patio?
Throughout the next couple weeks we will be looking at some more projects that have completed as well as some that have just begun. Overall, Denver is building rapidly and as soon as one development finishes, at least one begins.
Ryan and I recently had the opportunity to tour the inside of the new History Colorado Center. Our sincere appreciation to the good folks at Trammell Crow, Tryba Architects, Hensel Phelps Construction, and History Colorado for organizing and joining us on the tour. Ryan’s last update on this project was in May, so much progress has been made since then. In fact, the building will be turned over very soon to the State, although it won’t be until Spring 2012 before the museum opens to the public because all the exhibits, dioramas, etc. have to be built. Ryan posted his observations and photos from the tour in Part 1. Here are mine.
The construction barriers are down, new sidewalks and streetscaping are in place, landscaping has been planted, and the finishing touches are being applied. The main entrance on Broadway is impressive and welcoming. Wide stairs lead up to the front doors, creating a seamless transition from sidewalk to lobby. Zipping past the building in a car at 30 miles an hour, the building’s exterior can read as just plain beige. But inspecting the building up close for the first time, I was pleased at the warmth and the subtle variations of color and texture that meander throughout the beautiful limestone facade.
In Ryan’s Part 1, he included a photo of the lobby and its wood ceiling. The wood used there is beetle-kill pine, an appropriate material to use in a building dedicated to Colorado’s history, and a good local material to use in a building aiming for LEED-Gold certification. The floor of the lobby features a large COLORADO inlaid the terrazzo floor, which itself is rich and warm in color. The almost-golden hue of the interior finishes extends into the stairs as well, with Colorado sandstone walls.
The terrazzo floor continues into the grand atrium where, in the voluminous space above, a cool color palette and a more modernist feel prevails. The four-story glass wall facing 12th Avenue, and skylights above, flood the space in light. The building’s secondary entrance, reserved for large groups like school field trips, leads directly into the grand atrium from 12th Avenue, where a bus drop-off zone is located.
As Ryan mentioned, the top floor facing Broadway features a handsome function space, available for rent. Here, dark bamboo flooring contrasts nicely with the bright light coming in from the west-facing windows. A covered terrace extends this space outdoors, with sweeping views of the mountains and downtown skyline.
Overall, this is a fantastic building and I’m quite impressed. It features many beautiful (and durable) natural materials throughout, and manages to make its interior spaces feel spacious and intimate, modern and warm, at the same time. Congratulations to Tryba Architects for a job well done, and to Hensel Phelps and Trammell Crow for getting the building built on-time and on-budget. I know History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society) is eager to move into their new home and get it ready for a series of exhibit grand openings over the next year or two.
DenverInfill will be back to History Colorado Center later this year after the huge map of Colorado is installed on the atrium floor!
Finally, I’ll leave you with a time-lapse video, provided by History Colorado, of the building’s construction:
The entrance to the Broadway side was nearly complete and a lot of landscaping was taking place. There are custom street lamps, lights to project on the building at night and a grand stair case to the entrance, which brings you in to an open lobby as you can see on the bottom right. From the lobby you can choose to go into the museum, the restaurant, or the gift shop.
Once you enter the museum you are brought into an immaculate atrium with a giant screen and what is soon to be a giant map of Colorado on the floor. A unique feature of the map is that one can carry around a ‘time machine’ that will tell you the history of certain regions in Colorado when you stand over them.
Here is just a glimpse of what the staircases in the museum will look like leading to the upper floors and exhibits. This was also a great and rare opportunity to see what an exhibit room looks like before anything is in it.
Also included in the building are offices, a library and plenty of storage.
On the top floor there are also two meeting rooms that you can reserve for your own function. The one on the bottom left, where you can see our tour group, comes complete with an outdoor space. The rooms also come complete with blackout blinds so you can make presentations.
The atrium was a very impressive aspect of the whole project and was very hard to capture in one picture. I’m pleased to share with you a short video that gives you a 360 degree look.
The History Colorado Center will be turned over within the next couple weeks to the state and then to the public Spring 2012.
The Clyfford Still Museum and the History Colorado Center are beginning to take form and look more complete.
Since my last update on the museums, the Clyfford Still has been making quick progress and the outer walls are almost complete.
As you can see in this next photo, the colors and texture of the Clyfford Still somewhat blend with the Denver Art Museum. There isn’t much contrast between the two.
A couple blocks up over at the History Colorado Center, the exterior is starting to look complete. It looks like all the glass has been put in and all there is left on the exterior is the roof.
The parking structure is almost complete behind the museum as you can see on the far right of this picture.
There are a lot of projects going on in and around Downtown Denver. Don’t forget to stop by and even take a walking tour of the largest project going on right now, Denver Union Station! Next up, we will be taking a look at 1099 Osage and see how far it has been coming along.