IF WE WERE inclined to unashamedly mangle a cliche, which we are, we would say that for a fortunate few in Denver, home is where the art is. And that art is not just inside the home although there's little doubt that the aficionados who have bought into the city's new Museum Residences probably own a piece or two but next door.
There, the Denver Art Museum and its surrounds have been transformed. Previously, the solitary building on site was a Gio Ponti-designed, 28-sided, seven-level structure. Now, it's partnered by the Daniel Libeskind-designed Frederic C Hamilton Building aptly described by New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger as an "eruption of rhomboids".
Libeskind says the shape of the building came to him as he was flying over the Rocky Mountains. The bold, titanium-clad extension increases the museum's available space by 40%, providing room for travelling exhibitions, and galleries to showcase the museum's permanent collections, including modern and contemporary, western American, African and Oceanic art.
The extension is, however, just one part of a plan to develop Denver's cultural heart. That heart now includes the new Frederic C Hamilton Building, parks, paving and public spaces, and the simply named Museum Residences which brings us back to those for whom home is where the art is.
A joint venture between Studio Daniel Libeskind and Davis Partnership Architects in Denver, the Museum Residences wrap around two sides of a 980-car public parking garage. Out of a total of seven floors, the top six are residential, leaving 1486.4m² of space on the ground floor for retail further enhancing the vitality at street level. There are 56 luxury units that range from 75m² studios to 465m² penthouse suites.