I’ve posted a few blogs on my visit to Denver Art Museum. One rather large piece of art that caught my attention was the building itself. Most of us walk into a building never thinking about how it was built, why it was built, or even seeing it as a piece of art. However, the architect Daniel Libeskind is responsible for the design of Denver Colorado’s most unique building, the Frederic C. Hamilton Building which houses a majority of the collections for the museum. This oddly shaped building stands out to me not only because of its unusual angles but just how impressive and artistic it is.Daniel Libeskind was born in Poland in 1946, both parents were Holocaust survivors. Around 1959 his family immigrate to America arriving in New York where he helped his father in a print shop.(1) He attended Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and University of Essex where he received his postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture. (1)
He spent many years as a professor of architect and what many people may not know is he didn’t build his first building till the age of 52. (1) That first building was the Jewish Museum Berlin in 1989. (2) The winding jagged angles of the building represent the conflict and struggles of the Jewish people until at last you exit into sunshine and realize there is hope. Though the building is long and jagged, you can see that he truly admires angles which can be found in the Denver Museum which is higher up with long jutting angles.
“The winding jagged angles of the building represent the conflict and struggles of the Jewish people until at last you exit into sunshine and realize there is hope.”
He has since then gone on to creating even more impressive buildings all over the world including the Imperial War Museum North which has one giant angle looking
like a shard of glass. The building represents the effects of war. (3) The building is resembles three shards of glass one representing war on water and the second one on land. The larger and taller of the shards represents war in the air. Very interesting concept and what a unique way to visualize war and its effects.Denver Art Museum’s design is based on the Rocky Mountains and is covered in titanium panels which reflect the sunshine. (4) The titanium panels are not screwed in but fit like a puzzle piece. One thing that visitors often comment on are the many angles found inside the building. Our tour guide told us there were over 350 different angles. The only flat surface is located at the entrance.“…art can take many forms and shapes this applies to structures as well.”
Most good museums will not have many windows; this is to protect the artifacts inside. Libeskind put in a few windows but they all have a purpose. One window is a narrow long window that frames the Rocky Mountains in the distant; another small square window gives people a view of the State Capital. Even window design and placement was important to Daniel Libeskind.
What really made me interested in his work were the creative use of angles and the modern designs that surprisingly fit in with the much older buildings that often surround his masterpieces. His structures have that modern edge to them but somehow at least for the Denver Art Museum are rather warm and welcoming. Despite the odd angles there are plenty of places that the art is displayed and some angles even add to the art pieces.I’ve often discussed how art can take many forms and shapes this applies to structures as well. By viewing Libeskind’s work you can see the story he is trying to tell and the feelings he is trying to show through each of his buildings. Architect is an amazing art form and I continue to look forward to more of Daniel Libeskind’s creations.
Written By: Kristy Trowbridge