Let’s begin October with a final update on a beautiful addition to Downtown Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District: the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.

The Kirkland Museum is moving from its original home in Capitol Hill to 12th and Bannock in the Golden Triangle. The move includes not only the construction of a new museum building but also the physical relocation of Vance Kirkland’s original studio building from 13th and Pearl and its incorporation into the new facility. The Museum’s website has an excellent overview of their history and new building, as well as their three major collections. Visit our previous posts on this project for renderings and construction photos.

The new 38,500-square foot museum was designed by Olson Kundig Architects, with Wenk Associates as the landscape architect and Shaw Construction as the general contractor. Mammoth Moving & Rigging from Parker handled the relocation of the original studio building to the new site.

The new building has remarkable presence at its 12th and Bannock corner, formerly a surface parking lot. The museum’s facade—various textures in a palette of yellow, gold, and amber—is stunning, particularly if you visit on a sunny day like our visit yesterday.

Kirkland Museum at 12th and Bannock

At the north end of the facility we see Vance Kirkland’s relocated studio structure and its careful integration with the new building:

Vance Kirkland's relocated original studio anchors the north end of the new museum

Below we see the 12th Avenue side of the building and two views of the alley side, which includes a small loading/parking and building services area. Even the rear of the building is quite nicely done.

Kirkland Museum's 12th Avenue elevation
Kirkland Museum's alley side includes a small loading and parking area

Several works of art have been installed on the property, including a notable piece that has been incorporated into the building facade itself along Bannock Street:

Kirkland Museum's Bannock Street facade with incorporated art

The transparency and resplendence of the building’s primary corner is amazing, with glass panels in golden hues that catch the bright Denver sun and glow as if internally illuminated.

Kirkland Museum corner detail
Kirkland Museum corner detail

The most eye-catching section of the museum’s facade consists of slender vertical bars of terra cotta in a spectrum ranging from bright yellow to deep gold, interspersed with glass bars backed by gold foil. The result is breathtaking.

Detail of the Kirkland Museum's terra cotta and glass facade

Despite the intensity of the facade color, the building doesn’t come off as garish, but elegant and cheerful with a mid-century vibe—appropriate given the nature of the museum’s collections—and a pleasing contrast to the muted colors of the Clyfford Still and Denver Art Museum buildings nearby.

The Kirkland Museum isn’t open yet, but will be soon. An early-2018 opening is targeted.

A golden building for the Golden Triangle. Congratulations Kirkland Museum on your new home!