Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Opening

The newest addition to Denver’s cultural landscape is opening with a series of events this week; the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCAD) building is the first designed by David Adjaye to be built in the United States, and it is a jewel, and serves as a fascinating counterpoint to the Libeskind addition to the Denver Art Museum.

The building is still very much under construction, but Hadley and I have had the chance to see it a couple of times, first in a hardhat tour and then last evening at a members reception. Here’s a photo she took of the building exterior from a couple days ago:

Where the Libeskind is muscularity and gesture, the Adjaye is functionality and grace – the MCAD is unassuming with its square frame and translucent skin, inside it holds a surprising amount of exhibition space very efficiently organized. Once you enter the building, it feels that the outer walls serve as a shell around two separate spaces, each set on a slight angle from the primary grid. Within these there are openings that slice the space in slight diagonals.

The opening exhibitions are appropriately diverse, with the largest gallery dedicated to the work of David Altmejd of Canada. I snapped a couple of phone photos last night of his installation; with its fractured reflections and creatures looking like something out of the transformers movie, it may not be the richest in terms of meaning, but it’s an impressive presentation in any case.

It’s unfortunate that the building wasn’t open a couple of weeks earlier – I heard from a number of attendees at the AIGA National Conference that they were hoping to get to see the space. Nonetheless, having a notable space dedicated to the presentation of contemporary work bodes well for Denver’s maturing art and design community.

And, we’re looking forward to making use of the members cafe on the rooftop, which also includes some gardens planted by Karla Dakin. The gardens were built and planted at Ironton, and then hoisted to the roof by crane. Hadley took some photos and turned it into this charming animation:


Thanks to Andy Bosselman for youtubing it.

One thought on “Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Opening”

  1. Hello,

    I’m part of a research project concerned with many impactful buildings in Denver and am wanting to know the construction date of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art as well as the official date the museum was opened.

    Please and Thank You

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