Gio Ponti’s only building in the United States, for the Denver Art Museum (DAM), will turn 50 in 2021. DAM announced today a $150 million upgrade and addition to the seven-story tower—one of the first high-rise art museums—to be completed in time to mark the special anniversary.
Denver-based Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti will lead the renovation project, which includes aspects of Ponti’s original design that were never realized. “Ponti had planned an ellipse-shaped auditorium that did not get built,” says DAM director Christoph Heinrich. “We have an auditorium now in Daniel Libeskind’s Hamilton building, but will reintroduce that shape as a welcome and education center. It works beautifully between the zig-zagging form of Libeskind’s building and the castle-like structure of Ponti’s.” The new addition will take cues from Ponti’s design but will be smaller and more open and light-filled.