The Denver Art Museum and the Pizza Box Analogy

Denver Art Museum 1

While visiting in Colorado I snapped a few pictures of the oddly shaped Denver Art Museum (DAM) and thought I’d share a few of them:

Denver Art Museum 2

In case you didn’t see my last post, it may be valuable to know that I have mixed feelings about the DAM. I think regardless of whether you like or dislike this building, you definitely are forced to have an opinion about it. It most definitely is not a building that you can just ignore. 

Denver Art Museum 3

In my second ever studio course, we analyzed the DAM in comparison to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) that is also in Denver. The entire class basically found inconclusively that the DAM doesn’t make sense (from an architectural standpoint). While I don’t really want to rant about my opinions about the building and why I’m right and you’re wrong, I would like to quickly share a way to dissect architectural projects.

May I present to you, the Pizza Box Analogy:

Imagine, if you can, that a building’s program, users, and contents are all metaphorically represented by a pizza. Now imagine that the building that houses all of that is the pizza box. Using this metaphor, you can easily study the successes and failures of most any architectural project. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

pizza box

This type of box is designed to function most efficiently and effectively for many purposes. There isn’t really anything special about the box itself, but it serves its purpose and is the most common type of box.

beautiful pizza Box

This pizza box looks beautiful and functions well. Very little, if any, compromises are made in the design of the box that hinders the containment of the pizza. Though it may seem ordinary at times, this type of pizza box is often original in design and carefully crafted.

funky pizza box

This pizza box is almost completely arbitrary. While it does still contain the pizza, it makes many sacrifices in the creation of a “unique design” and doesn’t always function well. This is a rather rare type of box that can be beautiful, but often times not as successful as the previous two types.

funky pizza pizza box

This type of architecture makes a complete departure from the previous types. Form does not follow function. In this example, form dictates function. With an almost complete disregard for the pizza it was designed to house, this box has become the pizza.

With all of that said, I’ll allow you to make your own conclusions about the DAM. 

Lastly, here’s another Denver picture:

Wandering through Denver

On a side note, I’ve been away from the blog for a while because I’ve been working on creating a comic book. It has always been a life goal, so I figured I’d cross it off my list. I’ll be sure to post some sample pages as they are completed.

Now I have a strange craving for pizza…

Design Work just thinking colorado photos

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One thought on “The Denver Art Museum and the Pizza Box Analogy

  1. Benjamin says:

    Come to Missouri!

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