The Mayor's Design Award Winners

The best in architecture and exterior design throughout the mile-high city. And the winners are...

The Mayor’s Design Awards, presented by the Mayor of Denver and the City and County of Denver, honor bold, creative projects that represent the best our city has to offer in exterior design, architecture and place-making. The awards are intended to encourage thoughtful, sustainable development and use of public spaces that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, enhance our community, and encourage engagement in it with a nod to the past and an eye on the future.

And the 2015 awards in each category go to… (drum roll, please!)

5 WINNERS IN THE "BACK TO THE FUTURE" CATEGORY
These projects involve the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. They not only pay respectful tribute to Denver’s rich architectural history, but also ensure that these sites will continue to thrive and stir the imagination in a new century.


Bradford Real Estate Office

Winner: BRADFORD REAL ESTATE OFFICE, 2956 West 32nd Avenue
Category: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Owner: BRAD LEWIS
Architect: KEVIN ANDERSON, ARCWEST ARCHITECTS
Builders: BARBARA BAKER and JONATHON AUSTIN

Sitting in a busy spot just off of Federal Boulevard in the Highland neighborhood, this small Craftsman-style gem was thought to be a likely target for demolition by many of its neighbors. Thanks to a first-class renovation, however, the former eight-room boarding house now serves as a fully functional real estate office, boasting numerous modern amenities including ADA accessibility, a 6.25 KW electric solar panel system and an electric vehicle charging station. The new use is at home on this commercial corner of West 32nd, while the structure itself remains a link to the neighborhood’s character and history.

 


The Armstrong Center for Dance

Winner: THE ARMSTRONG CENTER FOR DANCE, 1075 Santa Fe Drive
Category: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Owner: COLORADO BALLET
Architect: SEMPLE BROWN DESIGN, PC
Builder: CMC GROUP

For its new home, Colorado Ballet sought a state-of-the-art facility with adequate rehearsal studios, physical therapy room, small black box performance space for Colorado Ballet’s professional company and educational programs, as well as administrative offices. That vision became a project that reimagined and reconfigured a contextual building more than 100 years old, enhancing not just the building’s exterior appearance, but also the already distinctive corridor on which it sits. The result is a transformational anchor for the Santa Fe Arts District that thoughtfully blends the old and the new. 

 


The Moffat Depot

Winner: THE MOFFAT DEPOT AT BALFOUR AT RIVERFRONT PARK1500 Little Raven Street
Category: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Owner: SHI BALFOUR JV COMPANY, LLC
Architect: KLIPP ARCHITECTS, a division of gkkworks
Builder: JE DUNN CONSTRUCTION

A designated historic Denver landmark, the 108-year-old Moffat Depot stood boarded-up for years before this project made it shine again. With only black and white photographs as a guide, the renovation removed more than 28,000 cubic yards of coal ash and debris, restored the crumbling brick and mortar, reinforced the walls, which had no structural capacity, and reconstructed the original, fire-damaged roof. What’s more, the building was successfully integrated into the larger Balfour development while retaining its character and visibility and now serves not only as a great amenity for Balfour residents, but also as a bright spot on 15th Street.

 


Wurstküche Restaurant

Winner: WURSTKÜCHE RESTAURANT, 2036 Broadway
Category: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Owner: JOSEPH PITRUZZELLI
Architect: BILL TERRAMORSE, GARAI-TERRAMORSE ASSOCIATES
Builder: SPECTRUM GENERAL CONTRACTORS

This adaptive reuse of an older one-story brick building is a “pioneer” project that offers a new vision for what this corner of Broadway can be. The character of the existing structure was left intact and supplemented with contemporary features and appointments in wood, glass and metal. What was once the long blank façade of an awkwardly shaped brick building is now an inviting and visually striking entryway into an authentic, modern gathering place for the enjoyment of gourmet sausages and beers that is bringing a new vibrancy to the street and the neighborhood. 

 


Industry

Winner: INDUSTRY, 3001 Brighton Boulevard
Category: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Owner: JASON & ELLEN WINKLER, INDUSTRY FOUNDERS & CLARION PARTNERS
Architect: ED ENCK, S-ARCH
Design: ELLEN WINKLER
Builder: ZACH KESSLER and BART VAN PRAAG, MAKERS LINE

Driven by a vision to create a dynamic workspace that was more than “just an office,” this incredible renovation of a massive warehouse doesn’t just adapt it for office use by businesses at various points in their development, it also completely re-imagines what this kind of space could be used for. At a time when similar large warehouse buildings on Brighton Boulevard are disappearing, this one has been renewed in a way that brings vitality to the neighborhood, supports entrepreneurship in the city and keeps a piece of this booming thoroughfare’s history alive. 

 

2 WINNERS IN THE "THIS IS HOME" CATEGORY
These single-family projects artfully underscore the importance of making the places we inhabit truly our own and remind us that, whether in the 1870s or now, Denver has always been a place to call home.


Gulliver-Lynch House

Winner: GULLIVER-LYNCH HOUSE, 227 South Lincoln Street
Category: THIS IS HOME
Owners: NITA LYNCH and TERRY GULLIVER
Original Architect: WILLIAM LANG
Renovation Designer: MIKE P. BROWNSON
Architect and Engineer: CENSPACE LLC; TIM MORGAN

This beautiful Queen Anne is the work of William Lang and of a collection of dedicated individuals that includes those whose careful work brought it back to life and those who worked to ensure its preservation by securing its recent designation as a Denver historic landmark building. The careful and thoughtful restoration returned the home to its original use as a single-family residence, after years as a converted duplex, preserving the house’s structural and architectural integrity while bringing it into the 21st century. 

 


Curtis Park Garden Cottage

Winner: CURTIS PARK GARDEN COTTAGE, 2857 Stout Street
Category: THIS IS HOME
Owners and architects: KEITH PRYOR and JOHN HAYDEN
Builder: KEITH PRYOR

Built before the city’s brick ordinance, this 1870s house is one of the oldest buildings in Denver and one of the smallest in the Curtis Park neighborhood. Before its painstaking restoration, it was in such disrepair that few would have argued against its demolition. But a vision that combined interest in historic preservation, housing affordability and neighborhood diversity kept the wrecking ball away and culminated in the transformation of the 600-square-foot cottage into a beautiful, modest, affordable option in the Curtis Park neighborhood and a small but shining treasure to complement the Curtis Park Historic District. 

 

1 WINNER IN THE "BUILDING WELL, LIVING WELL" CATEGORY
Using intentional design, these projects promote community health through active living, access to healthy food and transit, or walkability. They take a holistic approach to the question of where we live, work and play in order to connect it to how we live, work and play, and how we can do it better.


Art in Transit

Winner: ART IN TRANSIT, 3200-5200 West Colfax Avenue
Category: BUILDING WELL, LIVING WELL    
Owner: WEST COLFAX BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
Architect: EMMETT CULLIGAN, TOM ROGERS, and D MANTON REISER, HYPERFORM CO-OP
Builder: EMMETT CULLIGAN METALWORKS and GORDON SIGN

Part of a long term vision to develop West Colfax into a thriving, diverse, and sustainable 21st century community, this great, modern take on wayfinding takes inspiration from Colfax Avenue’s iconic signage to celebrate and enhance the transit experience. The signs and brightly colored bus shelters encourage walking and biking, help orient pedestrians, bikers, transit users and vehicles, and help connect the neighborhoods to the north and south. Together, all the project elements help brand West Colfax as a cohesive, vibrant community and a business corridor ripe for investment. 

 

2 WINNERS IN THE "DENSITY BY DESIGN" CATEGORY
These projects are multi-family and mixed-use developments that use bold, eye-catching design to balance the growing needs of our dense, urban environment with the unique charm and character that draws so many to our city.


16M

Winner: 16M, 1560 Market Street
Category: DENSITY BY DESIGN
Owner: LASALLE PROPERTY FUND REIT, INC.
Architect: GENSLER
Builder: MILENDER WHITE

Tasked to infill a blighted corner on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, this 10-story/332,000 square-foot LEED Certified building blends historical context with modern execution, resulting in a dynamic and energetic development within the heart of Denver’s busiest street. The rhythmical window openings are inspired by the form and scale of historic LoDo, expressed through tailored material selections and innovative details. The transparency along the street creates a more dynamic public space around the building, completely changing the feel of both Market Street and the 16th Street Mall. This truly mixed-use piece represents all that continues to make downtown vibrant. 

 


My Block – Wash Park

Winner: MY BLOCK – WASH PARK, 255 Washington Street
Category: DENSITY BY DESIGN
Owner: MY RESIDENTIAL
Architect: SHEARS ADKINS ROCKMORE
Builder: SHAW CONSTRUCTION

Located along Denver’s historic Speer Boulevard and the Cherry Creek Trail, and on the edge of the Washington Park neighborhoods and Cherry Creek shopping district, this five-story 107-unit urban living complex creates artful transitions between the open space, residential and commercial elements in its vicinity. The building itself fosters a community within the community through outdoor spaces and amenities that are shared, rather than divided by unit, and that exemplify the active Colorado lifestyle ethos. The contemporary design supported by the refined palette of materials sets the development apart as a first-class addition to a well-established neighborhood.

 

4 WINNERS IN THE "NEIGHBORHOOD GEM" CATEGORY
This is the first year the awards included this category. Created in an effort to draw out what Denver residents most love about their communities, this category highlights projects and initiatives that exemplify the unique character of their neighborhoods and the great things that happen when neighbors work together to lift up their communities.


Izakaya Den

Winner: IZAKAYA DEN1487A South Pearl Street
Category: NEIGHBORHOOD GEM
Owner: TOSHI KIZAKI / HIRO & CO.
Architect: ROTH SHEPPARD ARCHITECTS and ANOTHER ONE ARCHITECTS
Builder: JORDY CONSTRUCTION

This beautiful addition to an already thriving commercial district nestled into a residential neighborhood manages to stand out while fitting in. Driven by the Japanese idea of Wabi-Sabi, the design is characterized by asymmetry, irregularity, simplicity, austerity and appreciation of the integrity of natural objects and processes, and strives to create an inviting and transparent synergy with the neighborhood and community. Hundred-year-old clay tiles, taken from the old Pearl Street Pub that formerly sat on the site, form the surface of the street front façade, support the building’s striking street presence and carry forward a piece of the site and the street’s history.

 


Whittier Alley Loop

Winner: WHITTIER ALLEY LOOP, four-block loop between Williams and Race Streets
Category: NEIGHBORHOOD GEM
Owner: WHITTIER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Project leaders: DARRELL WATSON, BRIAN CHOQUETTE, LEVI JOHNSON, KENT SIMPSON
Designers: BRIAN CHOQUETTE, PAUL GOSS, RYAN SAND
Artists: PEDRO BARRIOS, FEILE CASE, DWAYNE GLAPION, JAIME MOLINA, UCHE OHAYA, BROOX PULLFORD, BOB RAGLAND
Construction Manager: MALCOLM MULRONEY
‚Äč

In response to an isolated hate crime within the neighborhood, this community art project was designed to celebrate the history, diversity, and culture of this unique area of Denver. Four alleyways painted with intersecting lines create a pathway that links historical markers and art pieces, enhancing and activating public space, supporting and encouraging activity and use of the local library facilities, and helping to foster a sense of community pride. The finished project was the culmination of more than a year of community planning, dialogue, design, fundraising and construction that involved more than three hundred participants.

 


Mestizo-Curtis Park Playground

Winner: MESTIZO-CURTIS PARK PLAYGROUND, 3181 Champa Street
Category: NEIGHBORHOOD GEM
Organizer: FRIENDS OF MESTIZO-CURTIS PARK
Funding organization: THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
Architect: THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND, URBAN PLAY STUDIOS, and LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES
Builder: ROCKY MOUNTAIN RECREATION

On the site where the city’s first official playground opened in 1905, this project sought to do more than just activate open space. Neighborhood residents came together to design an amenity that would celebrate the unique multi-cultural history of Five Points, embedding local landmarks like the Rossonian Hotel and Dr. Justina Ford’s home into a custom-designed tree house, while the Platte River (in the form of rubberized safety surfacing) meanders its way through the playground. Any playground would have helped activate this park, but this tribute to local history achieves that while fostering community spirit and pride. 

 


The Butterfly Walk

Winner: THE BUTTERFLY WALKLa Alma Lincoln Park, 1100 Mariposa Street
Category: NEIGHBORHOOD GEM  
Owner and builder: LA ALMA LINCOLN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

In an effort to encourage park use, residents led by the local neighborhood association created wooden “kiosks” intended to take visitors through every corner of the open space. The plaques describe the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly side-by-side with the stories of the people and events that have made the area what it is. The walk culminates in the Butterfly Wall, a mural of more than forty hand-painted butterflies created by local artists and community organizations. The colorful collage speaks to the diversity and character of the neighborhood and provides a fitting end to a journey not only through the park’s physical space, but also through the community’s history. 

 

2 WINNERS IN THE "DISTINCTIVE DENVER" CATEGORY
Whether through ingenuity, whimsy or a focus on bringing people together—or all the above—these  projects set themselves apart from similar structures, uses and building forms, featuring innovative elements, inspired by and honoring our local history and landscape, and otherwise embodying the Denver spirit.


The Boathouse

Winner: THE BOATHOUSE, 1850 Platte Street
Category: DISTINCTIVE DENVER
Owner: GRAND AMERICAN, INC.
Architect: SHEAR ADKINS ROCKMORE ARCHITECTS
Builder: SPECTRUM GENERAL CONTRACTORS 

Located at the north end of Platte Street, at the intersection of the historic 19th pedestrian street bridge and the South Platte River, this project emerged from a vision to construct an office building worthy of and complementary to its neighbors: not only the bridge and the river, but also the adjacent Platte River Rowing Club building and the Platte River Greenway and Commons Park across the water. The result is a bold, distinctive design that makes great use of a constrained site and that, by relating every façade to its surroundings, creates a strong visual connection from the river and the bridge to the street.

 


Denver Union Station North Wing

Winner: DENVER UNION STATION NORTH & SOUTH WING BUILDINGS 
Category: DISTINCTIVE DENVER
Owner: GLL REAL ESTATE PARTNERS, INC.
Architect: ANDERSON MASON DALE ARCHITECTS, in association with SEMPLE BROWN DESIGN
Master Developers: UNION STATION NEIGHBORHOOD COMPANY

NORTH WING, 1705 17th Street
Developer: ROB COHEN, IMA FINANCIAL GROUP and ED HASELDEN, HASELDEN CONSTRUCTION
Builder: HASELDEN CONSTRUCTION, LLC


Denver Union Station South Wing

SOUTH WING, 1615 Wynkoop Street
Developers: MARK SMITH and CHRIS FRAMPTON, EAST WEST PARTNERS
Builder: KIEWIT BUILDING GROUP, INC.

Flanking one of Denver’s most recognizable historic buildings and supporting its role as a regional transportation hub in a newly revitalized corner of downtown, these magnificent buildings are modern in design but carry forward the principles of the architectural history that marks the Lower Downtown Historic District. They reinforce the forecourt of arrival and departure to and from the Denver Union Station and activate the city-side plazas with ground level cafes, shops and pedestrian oriented events. Glass facades on the plaza sides softly reflect the historic station and the new train hall while the hue and articulation of the brick masonry reinforce Union Station as a unique precinct within the broader urban fabric. Simply put, these are two of the best building Denver has ever seen.