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Building Denver: Where Corners Meet
A Collaboration with CU Denver College of Architecture & Planning
This summer, History Colorado Center’s front porch, lobby, and Anschutz-Hamilton Hall will host creative interventions by students and faculty from the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture & Planning. These collaborative, investigative projects explore the ties between architecture, design, place, and identity.
Structural elements on the museum’s front porch provide commentary on access—and barriers—to cultural institutions and mainstream culture. Members of CU Denver’s National Organization of Minority Architects student chapter (NOMAS) designed installations that depict personal struggle and uplift. They used carefully chosen building materials and experimental architectural design to convey ideas about identity and transformation.
This materiality continues into the lobby, where students reimagine Five Points through the lens of Afrofuturism. In this imaginative exercise, creators considered five points of the neighborhood—the history, the city center, the site, the building collective and the future—to focus their design proposals. Utilizing author Ytasha Womack’s description of Afrofuturism as an intersection of imagination, technology, the future, and liberation, these projects imagine a future Five Points unhindered by prior racial segregation, ongoing societal discrimination, and gentrification.
Inside the vast Anschutz-Hamilton Hall, a large, immersive installation amplifies Denver’s distinct architectural voice. Guests can step into a temporary structure and view renderings of more than 80 buildings throughout the city. The installation itself, along with the selected buildings, reveals the energy and attitude of Denver-specific collective architecture. Denver is perfectly positioned to point toward a more inclusive view of the American vernacular of the 21st century.
This exhibit is part of Building Denver, a sweeping retrospective, present-day examination and a bold look ahead at how our city has been designed and the consequences that have emerged in our physical, social, and emotional spaces. Learn more about the Building Denver Initiative →