Gio Ponti’s only U.S. building is delightfully weird — and freshly revamped

Aug 03, 2022 201

For centuries, museums have taken their architectural cues from Renaissance palaces. The Louvre inhabits a Paris building that once served as an actual palace. And the concept remains embedded in the Beaux Arts architecture of so many museums, as well as their names — including the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. San Francisco’s ornate Palace of Fine Arts, a Beaux Arts confection built for the Panama-Pacific exhibition in 1915, is definitely channeling that vibe.

The Denver Art Museum, however, eschews the palace for a castle. And by castle, I don’t mean a picturesque Cinderella chateau from the Loire Valley. I’m talking about a structure inspired by the medieval stone fortifications you might catch as a backdrop on “Game of Thrones” — a building that begs you to douse an invading army in boiling oil.

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