Mental Health Center of Denver Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being
Best Project

Owner Mental Health Center of Denver
Lead Design AndersonMasonDale
Civil Engineer Wilson & Co.
Structural Engineer KL&A Inc. Structural Engineers and Builders
MEP Engineer MEP Engineering Inc.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Consultant Group 14 Engineering
General Contractor Taylor Kohrs LLC

Located in the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood, the new Mental Health Center of Denver’s Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being offers a wide variety of services under one roof. Programs include infant, early childhood, school-age adolescent and caregiver mental-health services; inclusive preschool, pediatric dentistry, parenting classes and support groups; deaf and hard-of-hearing counseling; cooking and nutrition programs; fitness classes; a gymnasium; community room; a 40,000-sq-ft urban farm, therapeutic gardens and a greenhouse with an aquaponics system; and outdoor play spaces.

The campus is located on a four-acre site that was once home to the Dahlia Square Shopping Center. Built in the early 1950s, it was the commercial and community hub of the neighborhood for more than two decades. The supermarket-anchored center featured locally owned shops, restaurants and a roller-skating rink, among other amenities. By the 1990s, the center was dilapidated and less than 15% occupied, leaving a gaping hole in the neighborhood fabric.

The plan was to create community amenities that would help build a relationship between the mental health center and its neighbors. Before entering the building, people can connect by chatting over a fence, exploring progress in the urban farm, watching kids on the playground and relaxing in the shade of the front porch.

Inside the center, counseling and group rooms are laid out in collaborative clusters that reach into the healing gardens. Small courtyards provide spaces for impromptu outdoor meetings or group work. Expansive glass walls connect each preschool classroom to adjacent outdoor play spaces and offer views of the grounds, gardens and farm.

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