Frederic C. Hamilton Building
Libeskind’s design consists of geometric, titanium-clad angles, which reflect the nearby Rocky Mountain peaks and rock crystals.
The new Frederic C. Hamilton Building is situated directly south of the two-towered North Building, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and James Sudler Associates, and adjacent to the Denver Public Library, designed by Michael Graves.
The expansion, the museum’s first major addition since the North Building was completed 35 years ago, nearly doubles its facilities.
The Hamilton Building rises from two stories to four as it moves towards the north. A sharply cantilevered section of the building juts across the street towards the North Building above an enclosed steel-and-glass bridge that links the two structures.
The bridge also provides access to the new Duncan Pavilion, an indoor/outdoor event space.
From the pavilion visitors can view the mountains and the Denver skyline.
The new building will house the Modern and Contemporary art collection as well as the collection of Architecture and Design and Oceanic Art and serve as the main entrance to the entire museum complex.
A giant bronze spider by French-born American sculptor Louise Bourgeois is placed in front of the entrance.
Visitors enter the building through a visitor’s service area before moving into the 120-foot high El Pomar Atrium that features dramatically sloping walls, a skylight, and a grand staircase that follows the walls to provide easy access to the building’s galleries. The main lobby also provides access to the museum shop and 280 seat auditorium.
An additional two-story atrium is located in the bi-level modern and contemporary galleries. The gallery spaces include an outdoor sculpture garden.
The Museum complex includes a landscaped pedestrian plaza, designed by Libeskind, featuring significant works of outdoor sculpture.
Three new sculptures around the Hamilton Building are the Big Sweep by Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg, Scottish Angus Cow and Calf by Dan Ostermiller and an untitled sculpture by Beverly Pepper.
Libeskind and Davis Partnership have also been commissioned to design a 1,000-car parking structure, wrapped by a privately developed residential and retail space, adjacent to the Museum, and a full landscape plan for the surrounding site.
The project is not designed as a stand alone building but as part of a composition of public spaces, monuments and gateways in this developing part of the city, contributing to the synergy amongst neighbors large and intimate.