The Denver Art Museum (DAM) reopened the Lanny and Sharon Martin Building (previously referred to as the North or Ponti Building) and introduced the new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center in style with several events in October 2021. The sold-out “Unveiled” opening gala,”Full Circle” housewarming party, member previews, and an opening celebration/free admission day for the general public launched an exciting new era for DAM and celebrated the 50th year of the Martin Building,
“For more than three years, the north side of our campus has been undergoing a bold transformation to improve the visitor experience while honoring and preserving the building’s historic architecture,” says DAM’s Frederick and Jan Mayer Director Christoph Heinrich. “The events of the past year have reaffirmed the importance of art as a source of inspiration, healing and hope, and we look forward to showcasing the museum’s global collections through a new lens and providing new spaces for learning and engagement with the reopening of the full campus.”
Designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates, the seven-story Martin Building opened in 1971 and was one of the first-ever high-rise art museums and the only completed building in North America by the renowned Italian modernist.
The 210,000-square-foot structure has been fully restored and renovated, including the 33,328 square feet of new gallery and public space; fulfillment of Ponti’s original vision for visitor access to stunning seventh-floor views; the addition of skylights; and exterior improvements such as lighting and revitalization of glass tiles on the building’s façade. The renovation also included updating environmental and other systems with the latest technology, resulting in the completed project receiving LEED Silver certification.
The transformed Martin Building showcases the museum’s collections from around the world and throughout history and places educational programming at the center of the DAM campus. There’s also a new rooftop terrace.
Sie Welcome Center
The 50,000-square-foot Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center, crowned by an elliptical glass meeting, event and program space, visually connects the DAM campus; provides improved spaces for ticketing and guest services; offers two new dining options; and houses an art conservation and technical studies laboratory on the lower level. The second-story façade is comprised of a series of 25-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide curved structural glass panels, providing outstanding views for function spaces, including the state-of-the art Sturm Grand Pavilion.
The Ponti restaurant, conceived in collaboration with James Beard Award winner and celebrated Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski, combines art and dining and features a locally sourced and seasonally inspired menu. The Ponti has an expansive outdoor terrace, as well as indoor public and private dining spaces spanning 4,000 square feet. Quick-service casual dining is available across the main hall at Café Gio.
DAM’s Martin Building, Sie Welcome Center, Hamilton Building and outdoor spaces like the new multi-tiered Kemper Courtyard with an amphitheater are available for corporate meetings, parties, dinners and galas. Event spaces can accommodate parties for an intimate group or up to 1,000 guests, and the museum’s in-house caterer offers a variety of options.