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Enter the Kingdom

For most of us common folk, the field of architecture is a bit too intellectual for our undeveloped minds. We enter a building and see wood and plaster, but real architects see form, function and fine art. Or so they would have us believe.

Residents of Denver, prepare to air your grievances this weekend at Doors Open Denver, an architectural festivus during which more than eighty buildings of architectural interest will be open and free to the public. "Our major goal is to demystify architecture," says Doors Open Denver project manager Julie Rodriguez. "We want to show people that architecture doesn't have to be scary — and that you don't have to be highbrow to enjoy it and appreciate it."

Among the buildings participating this year are the new Environmental Protection Agency regional headquarters building, the Denver Art Museum and the Nine10Arts building — a former horse stable turned studio/residence space for emerging artists, as well as winner of the 2006 Mayor's Design Award in the "It Ain't Easy Being Green" category. Rodriguez predicts about 30,000 participants will attend this weekend's events, the most popular of which are the guided tours by local architecture experts. But the more DIY-style tourists can just pick up a map at the Doors Open Denver headquarters at Union Station and trek off on their own urban adventure.

Bring your aluminum poles and wrestle the Daniel Libeskinds of the city to the ground. This is architecture for the rest of us.

For a complete list of included buildings and programs, visit
April 14-15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


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