Thursday, January 03, 2008

Julie Snow helps choose Colorado AIA Honor Award winners
After a recent trip to the Mile High City, I stumbled across this article in the Denver Post highlighting Colorado AIA Honor Award winners. Julie Snow of Julie Snow Architects in Minneapolis led a panel of four judges in picking winning projects. Their top pick: Museum Residences, 12th and Broadway, designed by Daniel Libeskind of New York City. Libeskind, as you may know, also drew up plans for the expansion of the Denver Art Museum. (The Museum Residences are pictured above in a photo taken by me. For a more elegant shot, click on the Denver Post link above and download the PDF of the Post article.)

Snow's comments: "This was, what would I say, a very controversial project. (We) really understood that maybe these forms were better for housing than they are for a museum. And (we) really like the idea of wrapping the residences around the parking and giving the museum some context."

During my visit, I couldn't get into the Museum Residences, but after waiting in line for about an hour, I slipped into Libeskind's new building.

The Libeskind addition connects to the original building via a second-floor skyway. The addition has four floors and has a breathtaking view of the lobby from above.

However, the jutting angles also create dead space.

For the most part, the Denver Art Museum did a pretty good job of tackling this problem. Sometimes, it dangled paintings from above so that they floated into space. Other times, they erected walls to create "art nooks." One of my favorites was this nook for Louise Bourgeois' "The Quartered One," a sculpture she created in 1964-65.

I also visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, designed by David Adjaye, the same architect hired to create an office/condo/hotel tower in downtown St. Paul. I'll post those in a few days.


Anonymous said...

What was the reason for the hour long wait at the Denver Art Museum? Was it that crowded?

Todd Melby said...

There was a super long line outside the Libeskind-designed building on the Sunday afternoon we were there. Museum officials let in small groups of people every few minutes, saying they didn't want the lobby to get overcrowded. So we entered at the original building and waited in line there. That line took forever to move forward. I think it had something to do with asking each person what they wanted (special shows, audio tours, etc.) and slow computers and not enough cashiers. Once we were inside though, it wasn't really crowded. The collection is disappointing, however. Not much to see.