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R+B Projects Receive AIA Colorado Design Awards


Aspen Mesa Building received a Design Award of Merit
Denver 1830 Blake Street Salon received a Design Award Honorable Mention

ASPEN, CO — September 21, 2023 — Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design is honored to have been recognized with a pair of prestigious awards at the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado Design & Honor Awards, which took place Tuesday, September 19, at Mile High Station, a modern warehouse in downtown Denver. The awards recognize Colorado architecture firms, projects, and architects for outstanding design and exemplary service.

“It is an honor to receive these prestigious AIA Awards, especially for our Aspen and Denver Studio projects which reflect our passion for and stewardship of historic buildings,” shares R+B Principal Sarah Broughton, FAIA, NCIDQ. “Being placed in the company of some amazing firms and projects throughout Colorado is rewarding and humbling, and we are so honored to be recognized by the jury of peers. Thank you and congratulations to everyone who helped bring these very special projects to fruition.”

Through a jury of respected architects from around the country, submissions were reviewed without identifying the design team and selected based on creatively addressing client needs beautifully, sustainably, and equitably. Jurors can see the boundaries of possibility expand when architects combine new technology, materials, and design thinking.

“Peers from around the country continue to be amazed at the breadth and depth of design excellence produced by Colorado AIA members,” said AIA Colorado CEO Mike Waldinger, Honorary AIA. “This year we had a tremendous surge in firms nominating and were thrilled to convey sustainability recognition on the most projects ever and at the highest level. “Even in a practice climate that is placing great demands on their time and presenting new challenges to their talent, our members and allies keep giving themselves to the greater good, elevating not just their own work but the impact of the entire profession.”

About Mesa Building
Designated and registered with the City of Aspen Historic Preservation Commission, the historic 1888 Mesa Store on Main Street at the entrance to Aspen is the home of R+B’s Aspen studio and our national headquarters.

Restoration efforts included removing all non-historic proportioned windows and replacing them with replicas as researched in historic photos. The non-historic, covered entry roof fascia was removed and the historic detailing that had been covered up was restored and preserved. The non-historic exterior covered stair and deck was restored per the historic photos. All new plumbing, electrical, data, security, and fire protection prepared the property for the next century, further preserving Aspen’s authenticity and historical heritage. Accessibility was enhanced by adding an elevator that connects all three levels.

The entry is surrounded by an enormous historic glass storefront that once saw usage as a bakery, general store, and retail. This inspired the design team to respectfully place a welcome desk and kitchen that encourages the spirit of the hospitality of the past. The sustainably designed tri-level interior is modern and bright, featuring white painted walls, white oak millwork, and character grade oak flooring accented with black hardware and guardrails. All ceilings are white acoustic fabric by WhisperSpan.

The driving concept was to create highly collaborative work and circulation spaces that are surrounded by individual work zones at the perimeter. Uplift desktops and built-ins were custom designed to maximize comfort and efficiency.

About 1830 Blake Street Salon
Set within Denver’s vibrant Lower Downtown Historic District (LoDo), R+B’s meticulously restored Denver location is a full-service studio. In fall of 2018, a re-imagining of the storefront involved extreme sensitivity to the original character of the structure, which was built in 1892 and has a storied history as the home of the E.B. Millar Coffee Company. Following LoDo guidelines, the project included introducing a more contemporary aesthetic and neutral material palette. A new wood and glass storefront replaced non-historic windows and doors, and the entry was relocated to its original location at the center of the storefront.

Spring of 2019 saw a reconfiguration and energy-efficiency upgrade to the interior, which features open studio space, private offices, and the Creative Lab. Previous non-historic partition walls and restrooms were removed and upgraded with energy-efficient features. Continuing the evolution, our team re-imagined an existing upper level as a multi-purpose Salon style space. In addition to building on our functionality as a team and encouraging communal interaction and experimentation, the new space is an expression of the residential quality of our work. The vision of the thoughtful reincarnation of the wide open, 2,798 square foot salon included creating multiple gathering areas for team members, clients, and colleagues. A back-drop of clean white walls allows for the additional usage of the space as an in-house gallery, where the works of emerging national, international, and Colorado-based artists are highlighted.

Within the historic exposed brick shell, which also features the original post and beam construction and re-finished oak flooring, dual seating groups are unified by a 30-foot-long custom designed sofa set against a window wall overlooking the bustling streetscape below. Together with the lower storefront level, 1830 Blake offers an inspiring contemporary workplace with biophilic and ergonomic features for our team while reflecting, engaging, and supporting the surrounding community.