Elevating Elegance: Denver Museum's Artful Transformation

Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver Museum of Nature & ScienceImage Source: Denver Museum of Nature & Science


With a $20 million boost from the Sturm Family Foundation, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is set to redefine its East Wing and Plaza. Open Studio Architecture spearheads the project, introducing a monumental canopy and innovative renovations. Phase one focuses on transforming the historic Phipps Auditorium into the Infinity Theater, while the visible outdoor canopy signals a sophisticated entrance. Phase two targets educational facilities, emphasizing community engagement. The redesign envisions dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces, promising a reinvigorated cultural hub for Denverites.


In a visionary undertaking, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science prepares to undergo a captivating metamorphosis, thanks to a generous $20 million contribution from the Sturm Family Foundation. Local firm Open Studio Architecture takes the helm, envisioning a comprehensive rejuvenation of the East Wing and Plaza, breathing new life into the museum's historical elements.

The ambitious project unfolds in two phases, with the initial focus on the overhaul of the Phipps Auditorium, a cornerstone since 1940. This space evolves into the Infinity Theater, boasting state-of-the-art features such as a giant screen, advanced projection systems, and enhanced accessibility, all set on a leveled stage for lectures. This marks a significant leap forward, transforming a historical venue into a modern cinematic experience.

The external transformation becomes vivid with Open Studio Architecture's addition of a monumental, translucent canopy that gracefully hovers over the outdoor plaza. This serves as a symbolic and upscale entry point for museum-goers, offering a prelude to the cutting-edge experience within the state-of-the-art theater. The canopy becomes a distinctive architectural statement, enhancing the museum's visual appeal.

As phase two unfolds, attention turns to the broader East Wing and Plaza. The emphasis shifts towards enhancing educational facilities, providing an enriched environment for camp-goers and school groups. These spaces, historically recognized as impromptu community hubs, will continue fostering gathering and interaction, aligning with the museum's ethos of community engagement.

The renovated spaces are not just physical enhancements but dynamic platforms programmed with innovative events. Feature film nights, speaker series featuring local and national experts, and interactive experiences spotlighting the museum's collection are set to unfold in the revitalized plaza. This infusion of creativity aims to make the museum an even more vibrant cultural destination.

Renderings of the project unveil a harmonious blend of modernity and history. The proposed canopy extends gracefully from the classical brick edifice, while glass extensions add a contemporary touch without compromising the historical integrity. The interiors reflect warm and subdued tones, creating a welcoming ambiance around the concessions counter, columns, and light fixtures.

The vision extends beyond aesthetics, aiming for a fundamental change in the way Denverites interact with their historic institution. The result promises greater opportunities for interaction, engagement, and connection among visitors, museum partners, local businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The project envisions a transformed museum campus that resonates with the spirit of the community it serves.


As the metamorphosis takes shape, Denver Museum's East Wing and Plaza evolve into a beacon of artful transformation. The collaboration between the Sturm Family Foundation and Open Studio Architecture signifies a shared commitment to elevating cultural experiences. Anticipated to welcome visitors through its new theater entrance in 2025, the museum stands poised to offer not just an educational space but a dynamic, community-centric cultural hub.

Related Stories

No stories found.
SteelGuru Business News