Denver Art Museum, known for its permanent and temporary art collections, family-friendly environment and interactive activities encouraging art appreciation, also is recognized for its striking appearance. It comprises two architecturally bold buildings—the North Building, which opened in 1971, and the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, which opened in 2006—joined by an elevated walkway.
The North Building was designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates. The seven-story, 210,000-square-foot building was designed to move away from traditional, temple-style museum architecture. The building's exterior features more than 1 million reflective glass tiles and a castle-like facade.
The newer Hamilton Building was built to accommodate the museum's growing collections. The museum commissioned Daniel Libeskind, who collaborated with Denver-based Davis Partnership Architects, to design the 146,000-square-foot building, which is covered with 9,000 titanium panels. Libeskind, known for his designs worldwide, is the master planner for the World Trade Center site in New York; the Hamilton Building is the first Libeskind-designed building completed in North America.
Shortly after the Hamilton Building opened, a series of big storms hit Denver, and the building developed leaks in its atrium roof and skylights. Temporary repairs were used to stop the leaks in 2006 and 2007, and in 2008, the museum decided to reroof the leaking portions of the roof systems.