2012 Best Project
Interior Design/Tenant Improvement Category
AIA Colorado Tenant Finish
The Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is the primary professional organization for architects across the state, supporting four local chapters and 2,200 members.
In 2010, AIA Colorado determined that it needed to expand its office space and reduce expenses to better serve its members. After careful fiscal planning and a search for space, the chapter found a new office location that was 150% larger and that had a 30% lower rent.
The new 4,290-sq-ft office just east of downtown Denver at 17th and Grant streets maintains the chapter's urban presence and public visibility while offering more meeting and event space, increased parking options and a much bigger gallery to showcase members' work.
It also corresponds with AIA Colorado's belief that architecture should improve the built environment, advance the living standards of communities and provide a service of ever-increasing value to society.
The design challenge was to balance the extremely low tenant-finish budget with the ambitious goals of the organization and still serve as a showcase for design, innovative products and the architectural profession in Colorado.
The solution was to provide an elegant, welcoming and well-organized space that smoothly accommodates staff flow as well as volunteer committee work and events.
The office's timeless black, gray and white palette is punctuated with accents of red and is warmed with beetle-kill pine cladding. The spacious lobby serves as an overflow space for events and a gallery for architectural displays
The long feature wall articulates the length of the lobby and is covered by acoustical, recycled plastic panels, with a wide opening that allows fluid access to the conference room. The office space can be open plan or private, based on changing staff needs. Space and connectivity are enhanced through the use of salvaged glass panels.
Obstacles included the minimal budget, 10-week construction schedule and coordination with multiple teammates, but the project came in on time and on budget.
Owner: AIA Colorado, Denver
Architects: Studio B Architects, Aspen, Colo., and Hutton Architecture Studio, Denver
General Contractor: The Weitz Co., Denver
Structural Engineer: Structural Consultants Inc., Denver
MEP Engineer: BCER Engineering, Arvada, Colo.
Entry submitted by Hutton Architecture Studio and Studio B Architects