In the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, students and faculty engage directly with our vibrant city, dynamic community, and magnificent landscape by working on real projects that make a real difference. Explore the ways research and creative projects at CAP ignite evolution that enriches places for people and the planet.
Tara Donovan Museum
Student Researchers: Ryan Helle
Faculty Advisor: Will Koning
The Tara Donovan Museum of Spatial Art is meant to transpose the visitor into a unique environment for viewing art and to challenge one’s understanding of space and context within their landscape.
The building is set upon a unique site in the vibrant LoDo neighborhood of downtown Denver. Adjacent to the recreational corridor of Cherry Creek, the museum gives itself to the landscape as much as the interior, as a means to activate the public space and create a hub of social interaction within the neighborhood.
The museum exists as a simple structure composed of two rectangular masses, slightly offset and rotated from each other, giving contrast and importance to the gallery space. Within the museum, the visitor experiences Donovan’s artwork within a light-filled box. The gallery box achieves its vibrant light through a double-skin facade, the outermost layer composed of white channel glass, and the interior layer composed of polycarbonate panels.
As the visitor moves through the gallery, they are undulating in and out of galleries of various sizes while moving in between and around a mass concrete wall, anchoring the gallery box within the lower mass and the surrounding context. As the visitor moves through the galleries, the exit sequence is through a series of tight walls that allow direct access to the landscape, completing the connection between the interior and exterior.