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Renaissance Downtown Lofts wins ULI, Gold Nugget nods

Renaissance Downtown Lofts was designed and constructed as a new model for urbanism in supportive housing.

The Urban Land Institute selected Denver’s Renaissance Downtown Lofts as one of 19 finalists in its Global Awards of Excellence.

Envisioned and designed by Christopher Carvell Architects PC for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, ULI chose the project as “an extraordinary development that’s making a lasting difference.”

The Pacific Coast Building Conference also recently recognized the excellence of Renaissance Downtown Lofts with an Award of Merit in the Gold Nugget Awards for Best Supportive/Transitional Housing Community.

Renaissance Downtown Lofts was designed and constructed as a new model for urbanism in supportive housing. The first floor is dedicated to social services such as mental health care, job programs and substance abuse treatment. The overhead five floors comprise 101 one- and two-bedroom apartments arranged in a c-shaped cradle, forming a central community terrace on a half-acre corner site. Flanking the community terrace are program spaces that include a shared kitchen, a central community lounge and conference facility, and a recreation, billiards and TV room – all overlooking the raised courtyard and landscaped green roof.

“The development is designed to exceed Enterprise Green Communities criteria for energy conservation,” said Chris Carvell, AIA, design principal of Christopher Carvell Architects PC. “The building was oriented on the triangular site to optimize solar access and day lighting for its residents, with an annual projected energy cost savings of 23%.

“The interactive design of this midrise is highly transparent and welcoming,” stated Carvell. “As a transit-oriented development, Renaissance Downtown Lofts encourages people who are chronically homeless with permanent housing and support services to connect not only with each other, but also with the city beyond.”

According to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, “Renaissance Downtown Lofts will act as a blueprint for other cities across the country that face similar challenges with homelessness.”

Published in the July 17-Aug. 6, 2019, issue of CREJ.

Kris Oppermann Stern is publisher and editor of Building Dialogue, a Colorado Real Estate Journal publication, and editor of CREJ's construction, design, and engineering section, including news and bylined articles. Building Dialogue is a quarterly, four-color magazine that caters specifically to the AEC industry, including features on projects and people, as well as covering trends…