Steamboat Springs At one-eighth the size of its inspiration, the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp dance studio model would be a mansion for a small rodent or insect. Such a miniature inhabitant could lounge under the tiny trees outside the building, and bask in the sunrays that beam through the window-lined walls of the studio.
“It’s such an amazing space,” said local architect Rob Hawkins as he looked at the scale model of the dance studio in the Depot Art Center on Thursday. “You walk in there, and it’s just like ‘Wow.’
“Anyone can build a house. But we need as much design as we can get. Design is the most wonderful thing in our lives. When you see something that’s well designed, you just know when it’s right.”
The real building stands out on Routt County Road 36, but the model built in 1996 by local architect Joe Robbins is on display this month at the Depot as a part of the Celebrate Architecture exhibit.
About a dozen local architecture firms will display models, renderings and sketches of mostly residential projects to represent the artistic nature of local homes and their designs.
Steamboat Springs Arts Council President Clark Davidson said the show adds to the diversity of the local art culture.
“I am very excited about this opportunity for the Arts Council to support the local architects and continue to provide interdisciplinary art exhibitions for the community of Steamboat,” Davidson said. “One of art’s purposes is to enlighten people and promote change in our societies. Architecture is art that should be witnessed and discussed similar to other artistic mediums.”
To kick off the monthlong show, which coincides with National Architecture Month, the Depot is hosting a reception and documentary screening at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Appetizers and beverages will be served and several local architects will be on hand to talk about their work.
“I just think this is going to be so stimulating for people to see all of the different styles,” Hawkins said. “Everyone can relate to a house. And I think everyone will find something they really like.”
Also at the reception, Hawkins, who is the local director for the American Institute of Architects’ Colorado West Chapter, plans to screen the film “Santiago Calatrava’s Travels,” a German documentary about the famed sculptural architect.
Hawkins said Calatrava’s work is anatomically inspired and the ultimate example of architecture as art with a purpose.
Calatrava will design several new features including a train station, hotel and bridge at Denver International Airport in coming years.
Architecture “is something that lasts for a long time; it has a permanence to it,” Hawkins said. “It has a quality that transcends time.”