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OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

United States Architecture News - Jan 24, 2020 - 13:18   9964 views

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

OMA has unveiled images for the new design galleries of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) as part of the phased reopening of the newly renovated Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building. 

Led by OMA Partner Shohei Shigematsu, the new galleries will be released as part of a larger campus transformation and OMA has designed nearly 10,000 square-feet (929,03-square-metre) of new and renovated space within the building’s original footprint. 

The project is part of an overall campus reunification and building renovation project led by Machado Silvetti and Fentress Architects. The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will open its new galleries and hands-on design studio on June 6, 2020 to the public, but the rest of the campus is expected to be completed and reopened in fall 2021. 

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

By horizontally bisecting the museum’s original Stanton Gallery on level 1, OMA has designed brand new space without expanding the building’s footprint. 

In the interior, OMA created three distinct rooms: the Joanne Posner-Mayer Mezzanine Gallery, the Ellen Bruss Design Studio and the Amanda J. Precourt Design Galleries—that will connect the DAM’s architecture and design collection while simultaneously providing dynamic spaces for visitors to engage with design materials, create artwork and respond directly to the objects and ideas presented.

Upon entering, visitors are welcomed with different exhibited objects that are hanged from the walls or exhibition platforms situated on the floor. Walls will divide the exhibition spaces, while visitors also moving inside and around the walls freely.

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

"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."

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

"Rotated to the original grid of Denver, the Gio Ponti’s Martin building is a product of an urban condition," said OMA. The three new rooms amplify Ponti’s intention—distinct yet interconnected, the interactive Design Studio and Design piazza-like Design Galleries simulate urban activity within the museum. 

The rooms also integrate subtle references to Ponti—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.

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

OMA's the new Design Gallery follows a logic of spatial typologies. An open, central “piazza” is surrounded by perimeter rooms organized in an alternating sequence of rooms and islands. Within the rooms the viewer is surrounded by the displayed objects. Islands and piers place objects centrally, allowing views from multiple vantage points. 

A modular and flexible catalog of platforms facilitate the inherent diversity of types, sizes and medium of design objects on display. The gallery is capable of being efficiently rotated between different exhibitions through reaggregations of platforms, allowing a permanent exhibition space to be transformed at will.

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

"The Design Studio responds to new ways of absorbing information and contextualizes artworks on view through hands-on experiences," added OMA. "A series of hinged walls can be deployed into fluid configurations for a range of programs such as library, lounge, workshops, presentations and other community oriented activities."

OMA unveils images for new design galleries of Denver Art Museum

DAM's collection comprises nearly 19,000 works dating from the sixteenth century to the present day, the architecture and design collection encompasses one of the most preeminent modern and contemporary design collections of any comprehensive museum in the US, featuring a broad range of design practices, including architecture, furniture and industrial and graphic design.

The inaugural installation will feature more than 400 objects spanning two exhibitions — By Design: Stories and Ideas Behind Objects and Gio Ponti: Designer of a Thousand Talents. 

OMA and Shohei Shigematsu have designed both exhibitions, as well as the Amanda J. Precourt Design Galleries and the Ellen Bruss Design Studio. The project is a continuation of OMA’s collaboration with DAM, following the exhibition design for Dior: From Paris to the World, presented in winter 2018.

All images courtesy of OMA

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