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Tryba-designed Buell Public Media Center set for groundbreaking

buell public media
Mortenson Construction will break ground in August on the Buell Public Media Center. Courtesy Tryba Architects

Rocky Mountain Public Media, Colorado’s largest statewide, member-supported, multimedia organization and parent of Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO Jazz, has raised $14 million in 12 months to put it on track for Mortenson Construction to break ground in August for the new headquarters, the Buell Public Media Center, in Denver’s Arapahoe Square.

This new 63,000-square-foot facility, located three blocks east of Coors Field, will be the anchor to the developing Arapahoe Square neighborhood. Designed by Tryba Architects, the center will be located along the 5280 Loop, a visionary project of the city and county of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

“Through the generosity of our donors, we have raised $22.46 million toward our $30 million goal for our capital campaign, which is central to our efforts to make public media more accessible, transparent and engaging to all Coloradans,” said Amanda Mountain, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Media. “The Buell Public Media Center will serve as a symbol of the important role public media plays in strengthening the civic fabric of our communities, while also invigorating an important thoroughfare in downtown Denver.”

The Buell Public Media Center is located at 21st Street and Arapahoe, three blocks from the Ballpark, and will be a new cultural anchor for Arapahoe Square.

“This new home for Rocky Mountain Public Media is located prominently on the 5280 Loop, a visionary project led by the Downtown Denver Partnership, which will link neighborhoods and connect people through an improved public realm that prioritizes people, bikes and nature in the city,” said William Moon, AIA, principal of Tryba Architects.

Part of the 5280 Loop, 21st Street is envisioned as a festival street and will link the Buell Public Media Center to the ballpark. The immediate context of the Buell Public Media Center is characterized by both historic continuity (the new building will share the block with the historic Paris Hotel Building and Nathan Savage Candy Company Building) and exciting change (Akara Partners development to the North and the Buell Public Media Center itself), according to Moon.

“The massing of the building and program is a response to the context on this important corner,” Moon said. “The shaped volume of the Masterpiece Studio is set adjacent to a transparent activated corner with the café, community meeting room and exhibit space visible from the street.” Views into the active programming of the building, new street trees and cafe seating will contribute to an engaging pedestrian experience.

“The materiality of the building expresses Rocky Mountain Public Media’s culture in the urban context,” Moon continued. “The brick base volume reflects both the architectural character of the neighborhood and the importance of Rocky Mountain Public Media’s grounding in its Colorado community. The light glass and metal facades of the building relate in proportion and rhythm to the adjacent buildings and express the importance of new media and technology for Rocky Mountain Public Media’s mission.”

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…