Functional green design for the MCA Denver
Last year’s fall was marked by another opening of a new museum building in the U.S. In Denver, Colorado, the new Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), designed by London-based Adjaye Associates, stands out among other things for achieving the gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
One of the most active elements of the MCA Denver’s functional green design is the exterior. Over 50% of the building’s exterior wall is a double skin façade, whose method of construction and materials help to reduce cooling loads and serve to filter daylight as it enters the building. This translucent façade allows for a tremendous amount of natural light to enter during the day, while creating a glowing fixture in the city at night. As a Gold LEED certified building, the new home of MCA Denver was built to the highest standards of green building practices and will function with the same philosophy well into the future, as it’s maintenance is based on renewable energy and recycling principles.
The museum includes five galleries and a rooftop pavilion, as well as education, office and retail spaces. The architect made use of discreet, monochromatic materials, and gave the volume calm shapes and clean lines, which underlines his decision for the design to support, rather than define the museum’s mission. The MCA Denver will also take a leading role in the city’s cultural development, while being the first institution that is devoted entirely to contemporary art. As the new city landmark and tourist destination it is supposed to contribute to the revitalization of Lower Downtown, as so many other North American museum projects attempt to do as well.