Denver place // 2021
Client: 4Block Estate
Sq. Ft.: 99,048
Awards: Exceptional Student, showltucoad.com
The Community Center + Heritage Center (Denver Place) are spaces that support the retrofitting of art, the craft of beer, and the opportunity for growth. 4Block Estate has renovated Denver Place into another multi-purpose building to serve a post-COVID19 economy with new purposeful standard of design located in the city of Denver, CO. CLICK to view the entirety of the design solution statement. CLICK to view the design booklet.
What makes up Denver? Who makes up Denver, and why are people migrating to this location? Denver’s demographic is seeded from 31% Hispanic, 11% African American, 50% White, 3% Asian, 1.3% Native American, and 3% multi. Denver is a blue state and dominantly democratic. The people of Denver in particular are advocates for change, acceptance, and unbiased support for others. The people of Denver remain in this city and many move for the sports, the politics, the landscape, and the opportunities.
Denver Place pursues a reflection on its people: resilient, adaptable, and forward thinking. We as humans tend to forget we too are animals in which we share these same attributes.
From studying these animals and slowly coming out of hibernation from a pandemic, there is proof we are animals and we are just as capable: we are adaptable to change and are quite resilient creatures. This gives the project some the ground up to evolve an abstract concept into something tangible, visible, and experimental in its own unique way. Denver Place is revolved around what ties us together that in which are our similarities while also acknowledging our differences. Some of these animals have different names (bison/buffalo), (mustang, feral horse/wild horse), and that’s cool too. As a result, each floor plate is evolved to an indigenous animal of Colorado to pull out the concept of similarities and to build that bridge of our biological truths with our fragile ecosystems.
community center 
Sq. Ft.: 16,508
The goal of this space is to create a net for varying people that share a similarity towards kindness, non-judged perspectives, and drive to learn + experience. All of this to say that the sentiment is for safety, well-being, and an objective sentience.
This center is broken up between a quieter space with a library and agile study/work spaces. The second part is the louder space with offices to facilitate the employees of the community and heritage center, an open conference room to house seminars, meetings, etc. Additionally, the louder section includes a classroom and a larger open-space for a variety of community events.
hERITAGE CENTER [3-7]
Sq. ft.: 82,540
The goal of these spaces is to create a multitude of environments for varying people that share a similarity towards kindness, non-judged perspectives, and drive to learn + experience. All of this to say that the sentiment is for safety, well-being, and an objective sentience.
The specific spaces of the heritage center are all art and culture focused. This center serves as any traditional museum with a twist: flights of local beer. The intent is for art to represent what was, beer to facilitate conversations of what is, and the five floors to host a home for what can be.
The root of the design takes precedent with principals such as line, form, texture, color, space, and light. The design facet of line is used minimally and sparingly throughout the baseboard detail. This is indicative to not overpower form, space, light, color or texture. Form and texture take strong precedent in each individual floor plate to represent the native animals described above. For instance, the first floor is modeled after the big horn sheep and to match the natural landscape this animal thrives in. The sixth floor reflects the lark bunting bird by using hard surfaces to replicate their vocalist behavior. On the same floor, the custom overlapping white arches is an abstract form of a bird’s bone to reiterate structure and form. Color is another minimal attribute to again – not overpower the artwork being celebrated. Space is a forefront design element that emphasizes processional movement. Lastly, light is comprised of both natural and artificial. Natural is for a connection with the outside world and artificial is to highlight the focus of conversation: art, history, and culture.
The ceramics room is solely guided by the words fun + immersive experience. This is a space where creativity and togetherness is promoted beyond the fine art on exhibit. But also a space where the community can gather, make art, learn, experience, and at the end of your pottery or sculpture being fired you can either go home with it or it can be showcased. Another place to rejoice the community in another medium.
What’s a museum without an exhibition? In order for each space to operate accordingly, adaptability and change needs to happen seamlessly. Within the exhibition space, the heritage center uses the Mila-wall.
Meet the artists:
Sofie Birkin // sofiebirkin.com
Kaitlin Ziesmer // kaitlinziesmer.com
Kenzie Sitterud // kenziemckenzie.com
The flight floor room is absolutely guided by the words fun + immersive experience. From a design standpoint, this space reflects the lark bunting bird by using hard surfaces to replicate their vocalist behavior. On the same floor, the custom overlapping white arches is an abstract form of a bird’s bone to reiterate structure and form. In no way is this your traditional heritage center, so naturally this is not your traditional bar. Here you only get a flight of beer or rather, a taste of the Denver Community.