This week, just like a year ago this week, my architectural photography class went on a field trip to the Denver Art Museum. Last year it was a cold and rainy day, but the weather did make for some interesting photographs taken through a raindrop-covered window out onto the traffic below.
This year, what a difference a year makes! It was a crisp, beautiful bluebird, autumn day. And, again, it certainly made for some great photographs of this unique architectural design that sits smack dab in the center of Denver’s cultural neighborhood. And, this year, we also wish the DAM a Happy 10th Anniversary, as it is the 10th anniversary of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building. You know the one! That totally cool new building that looks like a ship’s prow, or an origami creation!
Here’s something you might not have known. The Hamilton Building is covered in 9,000 titanium panels! The skin that covers those unique angles is titanium, known for its strength while being very lightweight. The architect, Daniel Libeskind, said of his inspiration,
“I was inspired by the light and the geology of the Rockies, but most of all by the wide-open faces of the people of Denver.”
We can all certainly take a cue from Libeskind and find inspiration in our very own backyards – the beautiful contrast in the southwestern light, the rugged peaks of the Rockies, and well, the welcoming spirit of Coloradans all over. I’d like to think that we, here in Colorado Springs, have “wide-open faces” as well.
This building changes as you view it throughout the day, both inside and out. As the light changes from morning, to noon, to evening, you will find yourself – as a photographer for sure – changing your white balance and saying, “What the heck?” because it is just a beautiful, organic moving structure that will surprise you at every turn.
I enjoyed playing with my white balance inside the museum during this trip, as I could use all this mixed lighting to my advantage and give these severe hard angles a warm up or a cool down depending on my mood! Give it a try next time you find yourself visiting the DAM. It’s an amazing space…and don’t forget the old “North” building too. It is covered in more than a million reflective glass tiles made by none other than Corning. You know… the same folks who brought you Pyrex!