Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects has been tapped to design The Kirkland’s new headquarters in downtown Denver, just a block from Daniel Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum and Allied Works’ Clyfford Still Museum. The commission, which is expected to cost “tens of millions,” will double the museum’s gallery space and be used to display Colorado’s largest repository of art that includes a collection of 15,000 objects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol, Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe.
“Relocating Kirkland Museum offers far greater visibility for our three focus areas and makes it more convenient for art lovers to park once to experience all the internationally important artwork Denver offers in the Golden Triangle,” said Hugh Grant, founding director and curator.
“In addition to museums and other facilities, Olson Kundig is known for designing many extraordinary residences displaying major art collections,” added Grant. “Because Kirkland Museum is displayed salon style, with the feeling of being in a home, their design sensibility is a good fit for us.”
The Kirkland Museum will be situated on seven lots (just over 26,000 square feet) from the northwest corner of 12th Avenue and Bannock Street, to about the middle of the block. Programs will include a glass shell entrance, 19,000 square feet of climate-controlled gallery space, a glass artist’s studio, gift shop and cafe.
Perhaps the most difficult task will be relocating Vance Kirkland’s painting studio from the museum’s original location, just six blocks away. This, according to the Denver Post, may spark preservation concerns, considering the brick studio is listed with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Aside from the rendering above, ittle has been released about Olson Kundig’s design.
Construction is expected to begin in 2015 and to be completed by late 2016 to early 2017.
Olson Kundig’s museum projects include the Lightcatcher at the Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, Washington), Tacoma Art Museum’s Haub Wing, along with the redesign of Tacoma Art Museum’s plaza and entry sequence.