Populous is a global architecture and design firm with a portfolio including projects like Coors Field, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Pepsi Center, the 2012 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games in London and the Super Bowl. The firm’s tag line of “Drawing People Together” defines its work in the aviation,
convention center and sports markets. The firm itself was founded in 1983, and the Denver office opened in 2004 as a specialized event practice. Previously located on 15th Street in the Highland Park neighborhood, the Denver practice began seeking a new office to house its growing workforce, culminating in the recent move to and renovation of their new home at 1630 Stout St.
Chairman of the Global Board, Jerry Anderson, designer for numerous Olympics and Super Bowls, helped provide the vision for our new home.
“When tasked with selecting a new office, we were drawn to the downtown area because of its connectivity to people and businesses alike,” Anderson said. “Our business is creating places where people love to be together, and it was imperative for us to apply this logic to our new home. Designing an office for architects requires building consensus, and the design team was instrumental in navigating this process through multiple charrettes.”
The strategy for our new Denver office focused on continuing the visual style of the newly designed Populous Americas headquarters in Kansas City as well as Populous offices located in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Pittsburgh. The Denver office now showcases its unique offering of international event overlay services and provided the infrastructure for a growing architecture practice. The specific design requirements for housing event overlay and architecture teams necessitated the development of a flexible, vibrant and open office environment.
Two separate levels and an enclosed staircase became open floors that share an expansive foyer, and the front entrance became a wall of glass to bathe the interior with as much natural light as possible – a trend for emphasizing the connection between community and office.
An open office environment is critical for the way architects and planners collaborate and allow flexibility in a relatively small footprint. The unique ebb and flow of the Denver practice means the office must stay as flexible as possible. The open office trend has proven to be ideal for the current and future mobile workforce.
The themes of open environment and flexibility continue into the meeting spaces. The building originally contained just one conference room, but the design team added three more. The main conference room on the ground floor opens up fully to the office with folding glass doors. This room is at the storefront – created to showcase the work of Populous and connect the employees to the street-level energy along Stout Street.
Another significant addition to the office was the kitchen, which opens out to the office, rounding out the theme of communal space. Designed to support and reflect the trend of healthy eating, the communal space features a large communal island and a host of appliances. The kitchen acts as a social hub for staff to interact with one another.
Aesthetically, vibrant colors, patterns and artwork balanced with the disciplined, cool white walls create an office that emotes energy and fosters creativity. The office walls are a living portfolio with global project images and the multitude of prominent events design. The artwork is easy to update and change over time as new projects are completed.
Populous’ commitment to its Denver office was further secured when we decided to move our office into the heart of downtown Denver. By occupying two floors, the design takes advantage of the open space to create a grand expression that is the heart of our culture. Located mere blocks from Coors Field, some of Denver’s best restaurants and with access to public transit, it is a natural new home and will be used to exchange innovative design ideas for years to come.
Featured in the September 2017 issue of Building Dialogue.