DS+R-designed US Olympic and Paralympic Museum opens in Colorado
Diller Scofidio + Renfro reveals its latest cultural offering, the dynamic US Olympic and Paralympic Museum in America’s Colorado Springs
Conceived to pay tribute to the Olympic and Paralympic movements in America, the latest Diller Scofidio + Renfro design is opening its doors in Colorado on 30 July. Set in the State’s Southwest Downtown Colorado Springs, the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum is a striking piece of architecture defined by a soaring roof clad in aluminium scales that sweeps and folds impressively against its Rocky Mountains backdrop and glistens in the extraordinary local sunlight.
Even with its commanding presence and beautiful, picturesque setting, the architects say they have placed ‘Team USA athletes at the centre of the experience.’ The building features 20,000 sq ft of galleries, a state-of-the-art theatre, event space and cafe, all celebrating the athletes’ ‘energy and grace’ and the much-loved international event’s values.
The architect and client team also proudly states that this cultural offering is ‘amongst the most accessible museums in the world’, as DS+R paid special attention to this in the design, ensuring all areas and events are equally accessible to people with and without disabilities – and they all share a common path through the building.
While the impressive facade consists of over 9,000 unique folded anodized diamond shaped aluminium panels, inside, a crisp, white colour palette creates a fitting context for rotating shows and various displays. A terraced covered plaza sits at the heart of the complex, leading to exhibition halls and cafe area.
‘Every aspect of our design strategy has been motivated by the goal of expressing the extraordinary athleticism and progressive values of Team USA,’ says Benjamin Gilmartin, DS+R’s partner-in-charge. ‘A taut aluminium façade flexes and twists over the building’s dynamic pinwheel form, drawing inspiration from the energy and grace of Olympians and Paralympians. Inside, descending galleries are organized along a continuous spiral, enabling visitors of all abilities to have a shared, common experience along a universal pathway. After leading the museum’s design for the past six years, I’m so moved by the collective, herculean effort that allowed us to now share these stories of perseverance with the public.’ §