Denver Museum extension

The USD 62.5 million addition to the Denver Art Museum is expected to dramatically change the skyline of Denver with its soaring walls and a shimmering titanium shell. The addition has garnered a lot of attention because its architect, Daniel Libeskind, was also chosen to redesign the World Trade Center in New York. The museum expansion’s unique design has posed some interesting engineering challenges, said Mortenson construction executive Dennis Ashley, whose company is building the addition. Engineers have to reinforce the internal steel frame of the building to account for the 105-foot leaning wall that will extend out over 13th Street. “It’s a shame they will have to cover the internal steel structure because I think that will be just as interesting,” Ashley said. Ashley enjoys the challenges the project presents, and he calls the 146,000-square-foot addition a sculpture more than a building.
The new wing will nearly double the size of the museum and create a permanent exhibit for artwork that has not had a permanent home in the museum.
Libeskind was chosen as the architect in July 2000. Aside from his redesign of the World Trade Center, Libeskind is known for his designs of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the spiral extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Libeskind’s vibrant personality was instrumental in engaging the community in the public decision process and convincing some potential naysayers that the dynamic design was the right choice, museum director Lewis Sharp said.

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