Architectural model of the Denver Art Museum from 1966, Gio Ponti and James Sudler Associates. Collection of the Denver Art Museum.

(Courtesy of the Denver Art Museum)

He’s not a household name, at least not in this country. But Italian architect Gio Ponti left his mark on Colorado in the form of the Denver Art Museum, that gray, fortress-like building overlooking Civic Center Park. A new exhibition at the museum tells the story of how Ponti came to design the seven-story building, which opened in 1971. It’s called, “Then, Now, Next: Evolution of an Architectural Icon.” That “next” part refers to the museum’s plans to renovate and expand Pontis only U.S. building.

Architect Gio Ponti in 1955.

(Photo by Paolo Gasparini, courtesy of Gio Ponti Archives)

Ryan Warner spoke with Darrin Alfred, the Denver Art Museums associate curator of architecture, design and graphics.