OMA and designer Shohei Shigematsu have released the design for 10,000 sq. feet of new and renovated galleries for the Denver Art Museum (DAM). The project is part of the phased reopening of the newly renovated Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building. OMA's work is done within the building’s original footprint, and the project is part of an overall campus reunification and building renovation project led by Machado Silvetti and Fentress Architects.
As the OMA team explains, the project includes three distinct rooms—the Joanne Posner-Mayer Mezzanine Gallery, the Ellen Bruss Design Studio and the Amanda J. Precourt Deign Galleries. Together, they will connect the DAM’s architecture and design collection while simultaneously providing spaces for visitors to engage with design materials, create artwork and respond directly to the objects and ideas presented. They go on to say that the three new rooms amplify Ponti’s intention and simulate urban activity within the museum, integrating subtle references to Ponti, including floating abstract planes within the Mezzanine Gallery; compositional techniques reminiscent of Ponti’s furniture design within the Design Studio; and in the Design Gallery, the use of a curved entry echoing those within the Martin Building and a rotation of platforms and walls to the city grid.
“We are honored to collaborate once again with the Denver Art Museum. It is exciting to design a new space within the historic Gio Ponti building and draw from his extensive, multi-faceted design philosophy,” said Shohei Shigematsu, OMA Partner. “The role of design in society is always changing and ever diversifying. Galleries need to react to these changes, beyond posing new ways of seeing. The three new spaces are more than just galleries for consuming design. They each have their own spatial and programmatic identities but work collectively as a platform for discourse around the boundless contexts of design.”
Following a logic of spatial typologies, the project includes an open, central “piazza” surrounded by perimeter rooms organized in an alternating sequence of rooms and islands. The team's design created space where the viewer is surrounded by displayed objects. Islands and piers place objects centrally, allowing views from multiple vantage points. A modular and catalog of platforms facilitate the inherent diversity of types, sizes and medium of design objects on display. The Design Studio responds to new ways of absorbing information and contextualizes artworks on view through hands-on experiences. A series of hinged walls can be deployed into configurations for a range of programs such as library, lounge, workshops, presentations and other community oriented activities.
News via OMA