R+B Completes Phase Two of the Revitalization of 1830 Blake Street Studio in Denver’s Historic Lower Downtown District
Following a storefront restoration last fall, Phase Two includes a reconfiguration and energy-efficiency upgrade to the interior of the ground-floor space
ASPEN, CO — July 2, 2019 — Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design is pleased to announce that Phase Two of the revitalization of our Denver studio marks the completion of a concerted effort to create a comprehensive, full-service studio that accommodates a continuing influx of high-caliber projects. The project coincides with the completion of our Aspen studio and firm headquarters, located in the newly restored, historic Mesa Store building.
Following a storefront restoration last fall, Phase Two includes a reconfiguration and energy-efficiency upgrade to the interior of the ground-floor space. Previous non-historic partition walls and restrooms have been removed and upgraded with energy-efficient features, such as occupancy- and daylight-sensors and LED lighting, and accessible restrooms and spaces. Consistent with the functional warehouse operation of the building’s original tenant, an open plan has been employed and original columns and structure have been left exposed. Overall, the scale and rhythm of the block has been corrected, benefiting the immediate neighborhood and entire Lower Downtown community by having an additional architectural resource resume a historically appropriate configuration.
Mirroring a full tenant build-out of the upper-level studio that took place in 2013, materials and details include exposed brick and timber, oak floors and built-in shelving and storage. Led by R+B Principal John Rowland, AIA, team members on the project include Craig Lawrence, AIA, Brandt Shwayder, Mark Bever, AIA, and Interior Designer Lindsay Bench, NCIDQ.
About the project, Rowland shares, “The 1830 Blake Street restoration continues to strengthen R+B’s presence in Denver as our studio continues to evolve. In addition to accommodating the needs of our team and clients, our newly renovated space will allow us to more easily engage with the surrounding Lower Downtown neighborhood and the Denver community at large. We are proud to have consistently maintained 40+ team members for the last couple of years and are excited to be a part of the exciting possibilities the future holds.”
Completed last fall, the re-imagined Lower Downtown 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 the guidelines of the Lower Downtown Historic District, 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. The renovation improves the building’s accessibility, increases visibility into the interior and lends an improved sense of symmetry to the overall structure.
About Denver’s Historic Lower Downtown District
A 23-block area of Denver’s oldest and original settlement, the Lower Downtown Historic District (LoDo) is home to one of the finest remaining collections of late 19th and early 20th Century commercial buildings in the American West. The District was formed in 1988 by an act of the Denver City Council, with the intention of “encouraging the preservation of an area that is significant because of its architectural, historical and economic value.” LoDo is anchored by the recently revitalized Beaux Arts Union Station and Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies. A vibrant mixed-use neighborhood, with businesses ranging from real estate to retail, restaurants to startups, LoDo is a successful example of urban reinvestment and revitalization.