Recap: Architecture of the Denver Art Museum

Tour-goers explored the unique character of the three public buildings on the Denver Art Museum campus and their striking and dynamic architecture. We heared about the imposing Martin Building, sculptural Hamilton Building and new Sie Welcome Center and how they exemplify the changing vision of what an art museum can be. Throughout the tour, we experienced firsthand the ways architecture can have an effect on how we experience art.

About the buildings: In 1971, the Denver Art Museum opened what is now known as the Martin Building (formerly the North Building), designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates. The eight-story, architectural icon remains the only completed project in the United States by this important Italian master of modern design. Continuing a legacy of bold architecture, the museum commissioned architect Daniel Libeskind to design the 146,000-square-foot Hamilton Building, which opened to the public in 2006. After a four-year extended construction and renovation project, the Martin Building and its new Anna & John J. Sie Welcome Center opened to the public in late 2021. The completed project welcomes visitors of all ages to expanded and reimagined gallery spaces and centers the museum’s world-renowned arts education programming.

About the tour guides: Ann Lambson, Associate Director of Creative & Public Engagement, has long been inspired and moved by built environments. Ann studied architectural history at Brigham Young University, where she received her MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies, and began her museum career at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Ann joined the Denver Art Museum seven years ago and has been the senior interpretive specialist for architecture and design. She loves to share the DAM’s dynamic and distinctive buildings with the public.

Leslie Lipstein, Architecture and Design Docent, is a retired architect and urban planner. A Denver native, she has been a docent at the Denver Art Museum for 15 years.