Installation of Curved Glass Marks Major Milestone for Denver Art Museum

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Elliptical glass façade used as structural support for the new welcome center building will be first of its kind in North America

DENVER-April 30, 2019 - The Denver Art Museum (DAM) marks another major milestone in its North Building renovation project with the installation of the new welcome center’s curved structural glass.

A crane using a special suction cup lifter, which can only operate when it is 32 degrees or warmer outside, is used to lift each of the large glass panels. The high-performance structural glass, made up of three layers of 3/8-inch thick glass, was specifically fabricated for the museum’s new welcome center. A total of 52 glass panels will complete the full elliptical façade of the new public space, including 36 curved panels standing 25 feet high and eight feet wide, making it the first structural glass wall façade of this size and scale in North America to hold itself up without the need for intermediate framing. 

The welcome center is part of the Denver Art Museum’s $150 million North Building renovation project, which kicked off in early 2018 after receiving $35.5 million from the voter-supported Elevate Denver Bond Program to make critical infrastructure improvements. The new welcome center will  be named the Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center when finalized. The completion of the North Building project will unify the museum’s campus and align with the Hamilton Building’s 21st-century systems and art experiences, including expanded resources for youth and school groups, additional gallery space and improved visitor circulation.

The North Building project’s design has been realized by Fentress Architects of Denver and Boston-based Machado Silvetti, with Saunders Construction as the construction partner. Sentech is the manufacturer for the welcome center’s structural glass and Harmon is the subcontractor installing the elliptical glass façade.