The Mile High Battle Royale: Denver Vs. Steven Holl!


Seems like wherever famed architect Daniel Libeskind goes, trouble is always around the corner. At least this time, he really had no direct involvement. After finishing his much celebrated new Denver Art Museum, the city hired Steven Holl, also not too shabby a name in his own right, to work on a courthouse in the surrounding area that would help to keep the momentum growing in the town’s triumphant architectural success. Unfortunately for them, and for Holl, that didn’t last for long. The Denver Post has the whole scoop, in a feature from both sides’ perspectives, about one of the biggest feuds in the last little while in the architecture community. Here’s from the intro:

The city had been basking in the international spotlight shining on the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, Daniel Libeskind’s daring new addition to the Denver Art Museum. Denver had every reason to think the celebration had just begun. Holl’s work is just plain lovely, from his acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Art bathed in natural light in Helsinki, Finland, to his meditative Chapel of St. Ignatius in Seattle. When his firm won the courthouse contract, Mayor John Hickenlooper said he was “inspired” and “excited” about the caliber of architect involved.

Ten months and untold thousands of design dollars later, Holl is outta here and folks in Denver have every right to feel stiffed.