As outlined in our last newsletter, the newly renovated Gio Ponti building (Martin Building) and the Sie Welcome Center at the Denver Art Museum are officially open! If you have yet to visit the new design galleries and the rooftop of the Martin Building, make it top of your list!
Two new restaurants accompany the new galleries: The Ponti and a cafe, Cafe Gio. At the helm is local mainstay Chef Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, and Ultreia. If you’re one to seek out spaces rich in atmosphere and beautifully appointed interiors that tell a story, then you have even more to look forward to on your next museum day.
We recently joined Darrin Alfred, the Curator of Architecture & Design at the Denver Art Museum, the multi-disciplinary team at BOSS Architecture, and Jessica Doran of Jessica Doran Interiors for an exclusive look at their recently unveiled spaces. We heard from multiple project design team members on the scope, concept and realization of these distinctive dining spaces that so eloquently combine art and cuisine.
As expected, the space took many cues from the Italian Modernist Master. The restaurant embodies Ponti’s commitment to timeless design through the use of color, rhythm, pattern, and repetition. While his influence is evident in both the restaurant and café, the connection is subtle and abstract. Design elements from the Martin Building and the Hamilton Building (Libeskind’s “spaceship” addition) were introduced into The Ponti, in homage to the existing fabric of the surrounding Denver Art Museum campus. As for the Gio Cafe, the energy of this space is heightened compared to The Ponti through use of color, textural screen walls, playful seating arrangements, and accompanying furniture.
We especially enjoyed hearing from BOSS Architecture Founders, Chris Davis and Kevin Stephenson and a lead team member, Brent Forget. Through their words, they brought the design process to life and shared many candid moments from their experience working on the project alongside members of the Denver Art Museum.
“We’re honored at the opportunity we’ve been given to work with this team, and the opportunity we’ve been given to make our mark on the city. We have an awesome job, actually.” – Chris Davis.
Each of the presenters conveyed their enthusiasm towards the opportunity to finally share these spaces with the community after patiently awaiting public engagement for two years! COVID created extreme delays for the public opening of these new spaces, but now that they’re finally open, we must say it was worth the wait.
Hats off to this super talented team for their unique contribution to Denver’s art and cultural scene. We thank you.