Best New Arts Complex (2001)

The King Center for the Performing Arts

There may not have been enough money in the budget to furnish it, but there's no denying that the King Center, smack in the middle of Auraria, is a beautiful building. Constructed in raw concrete, glass and red brick, it works perfectly with the rest of the campus. The center is by AR7 Hoover Desmond Architects, with Ranko Ruzic serving as the principal designer; interior specialists Semple Brown Design did the performing-arts portions. The design features many cutting-edge elements, not the least of which is the deconstructivist handling of the gateway around the entrance. But the building is also cutting-edge from the standpoint of handicap accessibility: Even the theater's catwalks are open to wheelchair users, which makes the King Center the best arts facility in the world for people with disabilities.

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