Freight by Stephen Dynia Architects
Four time Award Winner - AIA Western Mountain Region Design Merit Award, AIA Denver Design Citation Award, AIA Colorado Design Award, and AIA Wyoming Award of Excellence
The goal of this transformation of a derelict, mid twentieth century freight terminal was to provide flexible tenant space with amenities such as common social spaces to lure “new economy” businesses to an abandoned industrial zone north of downtown Denver. The project, located between river and rail lines, is the most recent phase of a development that includes new and renovated structures that look to create a new workplace that uses architecture to foster interaction and create a culture of innovation.
The reuse preserves the carcass of the freight terminal, with its deep overhangs and garage bay openings, and inserts new elements to contrast old. Original paint and markings are left intact with new glass overhead doors that allow offices to open to the landscape. An internal skylit “street” and sculptural plywood ribbon wall punctuated with luminous entries provides internal circulation. The main entrance slices through the building, axially connecting the entry experience to the larger site and the urban skyline beyond. Outside, an existing metal shed projecting north was reimaged. The new portion of the building along the river took inspiration from the movement of rail and containers, and uses trusses from the traditional administrative component at the head of the terminal that had been razed. A ghosting of the former truck dock pattern extends as adjacent landscape pattern.
Tenant spaces were arranged from a kit of industrial components and materials included reused glass panels from a hockey rink as internal partitions, salvaged bowling alley floors for benches, tables and counters, and industrial shelves in a variety of configurations to conform to a challenging budget. “International Orange” enlivens structural components throughout.