Prospect Place Master Plan

Denver, Colorado

2005

 

During the early 2000’s Lower Downtown and the Central Platte Valley saw explosive growth in redevelopment. Mixed use residential was the prime use and existing warehouse buildings defined the scale and indirectly, the density of development.

Many of these projects being built effectively utilized 100% of the site providing minimal open space and minimal opportunities to use daylight and natural ventilation within the housing units. With the quantity of parking governing the developments, every square foot of site was covered.

Approached by a developer with a 2.5 acre site along the Platte River, we were asked to study how to achieve density and height in a building grouping that could still contextually fit within the neighborhood context.

 

Our task was to determine the point where economics, scale and site utilization converged. Our design goal was to develop an efficient and sustainable building grouping that maximized daylight, ventilation, views and communal open space. The scheme met both of these criteria.

 

Massing and Scale

Structures from 4 to 17 stories are organized around the central space of the site with the logic of placement to define that open space and establish relationships with adjacent context. Parking was placed on three levels below grade.

 

The mediation of scale and urban texture was a very important principle. The towers, at 12 and 17 stories, have compact footprints and profiles with 4 units per floor taking advantage of the views and cross ventilation. The towers are complemented by “The Cliff Palace,” four low, thin interconnected buildings with a total of 272 units with rooftop gardens, placed as a backdrop along the north edge of the site.

 

Create Public Space

The centerpiece of the proposal was the central plaza. It was conceived as a multi level space intimately scaled by creating “lawns and yards” long the residential edge.  With the Cliff Palace to the north and west and the space oriented to the south for both solar access and as a gesture to the surrounding neighborhood, this exterior space is accessible and usable almost year round.

 

A 19th century historic mining equipment manufacturers building was to remain on the eastern portion of the site. It was to be renovated into mixed use office and retail to support the housing and adjacent neighborhood. The entire west façade of this structure opened into the central space allowing for activity to spill out. The central plaza was intended to become the neighborhood center, creating an accessible semi public space that would enhance and solidify the entire community.

 

 

Birds Eye View looking down into the courtyard space