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Winners of Mayor’s Design Awards

The Triangle office building was among the 16 winners of the 2017 Mayor’s Design Awards. Photo credit: Denver Planning and Community Development.

Winners of the 2017 Mayor’s Design Awards showcased an eclectic mix of commercial, residential and events that help to shape Denver’s urban fabric..

The 16 winners included office buildings, restaurants, retailers and homes.

“We are here to celebrate the projects that are getting it right,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said about the winners in the program that was launched a dozen years ago.

Hancock and Brad Buchanan, the executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development, honored the winners for excellence in architecture, design and place-making Tuesday evening a free event at the Chambers Grant Salon of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

“Whether they are big or small, buildings or art, homes or commercial buildings – these projects truly represent the Denver that we know and love,” Hancock said about the winners.


Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Since 2005, the awards have been presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, artists and others. The winners are judged on their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Winners can range from community placemaking projects to adaptive reuse of historic structures to single-family residences to major mixed-use downtown buildings. Each of the winners brings something special to Denver’s unique visual fabric and speaks to our collective commitment to building healthy, sustainable communities.

This year’s judges who chose the winners for the Mayor’s Design Awards include:

They chose the winners from more than 60 nominees, the most ever submitted.


Brad K. Evans was one of the judges who helped choose the 16 winners for the 2017 Mayor’s Design Awards.

The 2017 Mayor’s Design Award winners and categories include:

Category: Distinctive Denver — Projects with unique features or elements that set them apart from similar structures, uses and building forms.

Winner: Avanti Food and Beverage


Avanti Food and Beverage was one of the 16 winners in the 2017 Mayor’s Denver Design Awards. Photo credit: Denver Community Planning and Development

Address: 3200 Pecos St.

Owner: Avanti Food and Beverage

Architect: Meridian 105 Architecture

Comments from judges: “Making the most of a previously underutilized corner of LoHi, this project created not only a new social gathering place for the neighborhood but also a unique way to experience downtown Denver through exceptional views of its skyline. The original 1930s structure was expanded to include a second level and 2,600 square feet of outdoor observation decks. The new addition provides a contemporary expression complimentary to the original brick and concrete masonry. Components such as the engine hoist are incorporated into the interior design of the space, while graffiti art adorns the building’s exterior. Both provide a sort of record of the building’s history as an auto shop and graphics studio.”

Winner: The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block


Maven Hotel. Photo credit: Denver Planning and Community Development

Address:  1850 Wazee St.

Owners: Grand American, McWhinney, Sage Hospitality

Architects: Crème Design, JNS

Builders: Saunders and Hyder

Comments from judges: “The anchor of the Dairy Block redevelopment, the Maven Hotel was created to service as a community hub, partnering with local tenants and acting as the center of a new Denver attraction. Its design is meant to reflect the industrial design of the block, focusing on loft-style hotel rooms and locally curated art. In the Lower Downtown Historic District and a stone’s throw from Coors Field, the hotel combines nods to is historic setting with the modern amenities of this foundational corner of downtown.”

Winner: Seed Building & Addition


The Seed building. Photo credit: Denver Community Planning and Development

Address: 1500 Market St.

Owners: Seed Acquisitions LLC; Jerrold L. Glick, Fredrick D. Glick

Architect: Tryba Architects

Builder: Hyder Construction

Comments from judges: “This project plants a flag for contemporary architecture and design in the Lower Downtown Historic District, replacing a surface parking lot at 15th and Market—the entrance to LoDo from the Auraria Parkway. The site was once home to the 1873 Fink Building and restores a complete streetwall to the corner. The interior of exposed structural wood glulam and decking pays homage to the exposed structure typical of LoDo’s historic buildings. The glass and steel exterior allows the passer-by to appreciate that wooden structure in a way not possible with LoDo’s masonry buildings, providing a window into LoDo’s ‘bones’ and the buildings connections to the old and the new.”

Winner: Terraza del Sol


Terraza del Sol

Address: 355 S. Grove St.

Owner: Gorman & Co. Inc.

Architect: Shopworks Architecture

Builder: Deneuve Construction

Comments from judges: “Addressing the urgent housing needs of the area and providing a home for a key provider of community support services, this project is a community catalyst in more ways than one. Forty-two units provide attractive, affordable homes for dozens of families, while the Mi Casa Resource Center, which opened its new organizational headquarters and Family Economic and Education Center on the main floor of the building, provides a launch pad for small businesses and careers. With colorful murals by a local artist, the (project) captured the spirit and rich culture of the Westwood neighborhood.

Winner: The Triangle Building


Triangle building

Address: 1550 Wewatta St.

Owner: Union Investment Real Estate

Architect: Andersen Mason Dale

Builder: East West Partners

Comments from judges: “This impressive project celebrates the irregular shapes, abstract dimensions and triangular construction that made its predecessors landmarks in their own right. Implementing the most progressive design strategies and innovative technology, the Triangle Building creates the best possible working environment for its tenants—maximizing light, efficiency, flexibility and magnificent views. Like the iconic Brown Palace, the lot’s shape gives the building a distinctive presence in the city’s landscape and marks a key era of development in its history. Its fresh, futuristic take on an architectural classic will provide unmistakable visibility while becoming an integral part of downtown Denver.”

Category: Density by Design— Multi-family and mixed-use developments.

Winner: Ashley Union Station


Ashley Union Station

Owner: Chestnut & 18th LP (Integral Chestnut GP LLC; DHA Chestnut Housing LLC; Wincopin Circle LLLP)

Architect: RNL Design, now part of Stantec

Builder: I-Kota, Inc.

Comments from judges: “Ashley Union Station is the first and only truly mixed-income property in the Union Station development, one that makes it possible for those who work in the restaurants and shops that make the neighborhood a desirable destination to live where they work. The goal of the design for this project was to create a space any resident would be proud to live in, regardless of income, and one that stimulated street activity and encouraged neighborhood interaction. This project does more than check the box of giving residents an affordable place to live. It gives residents and the neighborhood a design they can be proud of for years to come.”

Category: This is Home — Single-family projects, including accessory dwelling units.

Winner: Beloved Community


Beloved Community

Address: 3722 Walnut St.

Project lead: Radian|Placematters & Colorado Village Collaborative

Architect: Radian|Placematters

Builder: Whiting Turner Contracting Company

Comments from judges: “This collection of tiny homes was conceived as a creative approach to housing vulnerable members of our community in a temporary and transitional way, as a step toward permanent affordable housing. Designed to meet the city’s requirements, and with the support of the neighboring communities of River North, Cole and Curtis Park, the 11 sleeping units, two shared bathing units, and community space address the needs of its 15 residents, providing them with much-needed stability and helping them lay the groundwork for positive outcomes.

Winner: Mid-Century House Restoration


Mid-century restoration.

Address: 618 S. Monroe Way

Owners: Peter Buttrick and Anne Wattenberg

Architect: Anne Wattenberg

Comments from judges: “An experiment in the design of the small family home, this 1953 house—originally designed and lived in by William C. Muchow, one of Denver’s most prominent mid-20th century architects—was celebrated locally and nationally when it was first built. The goal of the restoration project was to return it to a family home and to restore and amplify Mr. Muchow’s design. Alterations and additions that had obscured the lines of the structure were cleared away, and the signature elements were revealed and restored with a contemporary sensibility. The final result proves that Mr. Muchow’s clean and efficient approach remains a fresh and delightful solution to the small urban home.”

Category: Back to the Future — Projects that involve the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Nominated structures don’t have to be designated city landmarks.

Winner: Alchemy Creative Workspace



Address: 66 S. Logan Street

Owner: 66s LLC

Architect: CF Studio Architecture & Development

Comments from judges: “Seeing something of value in an otherwise nondescript existing structure, the partners behind this project wanted to save the building from demolition while also complimenting the neighborhood with a use that would be an asset, not a competitor. The building was stripped down to its bones, revealing beautiful steel trusses and the original wood ceiling. The storefront was opened back up to its original size and skylights added back in, flooding the space in natural light. The result is a warm, comfortable space that simply feels good to be in.”

Winner:  Shift Workspaces – Bannock


The Shift.

Address: 1001 N. Bannock St.

Owner: Grant Barnhill

Architects: Kirsten Brundage and The Interior

Builder: Sprung Construction

Comments from judges: “This project restored and added onto a historic Golden Triangle building that was originally constructed in 1898 and housed Fistell’s Electronics until 2014. The design of the space integrates abundant natural light, a modern design ascetic, and more than 50 pieces of custom art, light fixtures and furniture fabricated by 12 artists, 10 of them local. The final product retains many of the original details that make the building a historic asset to the neighborhood but adds new elements as well, successfully bridging the area’s history with the modern ethos that community co-working spaces exemplify.”

Category: Active Spaces — Projects or events that activate public spaces in a way that creates interaction, discourse and community.

Winner: Tivoli Quadrangle, Auraria Higher Education Center


Tivoli Quadrangle

Address: 1363 9th St.

Owner: Auraria Higher Education Center

Architects: Wenk Associates, Inc.; AndersonMasonDale Architects

Builders: Pinkard Construction, Fehr & Peers, BCER Engineering, Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers

Comments from judges: “This transformational project emerged from the 2012 Auraria Campus Master Plan, which identified a need for ‘place-making’ within the campus, providing a variety of gathering spaces and activity areas critical to the success of an urban campus. That vision resulted in a space for social, recreational, and special event activities that engage the campus community beyond the classroom, set against the historic Tivoli Student Union and a one-of-a-kind view that connects the campus and the institutions it houses to downtown Denver.”

Winner: The Deck


The Deck

Address: 651 16th St.

Designer & builder: Sort Studio

Comments from judges: “The Deck was conceived as a prototype to test ideas about public engagement and culture within the laboratory of the city. Over the course of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s 2017 Meet in the Street events, The Deck played host to live music and a series of short films curated by the Denver Film Society. After sunset, The Deck was converted to an open air microcinema. As a stage, it provided a unique venue on the 16th Street Mall. Over the summer season it successfully demonstrated the impact of alternative approaches to urbanism and design in downtown Denver.”

Category: Art All Around – Projects that involve murals, sculpture and other forms of art in the public realm.

Winner: The Blue Trees


The Blue Trees

Address: 700 14th St.

Project lead: NINE dot ARTS

Comments from judges: “The first of a curated series of art installations, The Blue Trees by internationally renowned artist Konstantin Dimopolous brings awareness of global deforestation and the importance of trees to people and their environment. Working closely with public and private partners, Dimopolous and a team of volunteers over a six-week period colored 156 trees blue with a biologically safe, water-based, nonpermanent colorant that will naturally degrade over 12 months. In addition to the art installation, the project encompassed dozens of family friendly and free events, highlighting the importance of civic engagement, environmental responsibility, place-making and arts in the public realm.”

Category: Neighborhood Gem – Projects that exemplify the unique character of their neighborhoods and are recognized by the community as local treasures.

Winner: Cuba Cuba Cafe and Bar Patio Expansion


Cuba Cuba

Address: 1173 Delaware St.

Owner: Cuba Cuba Café & Bar

Architect: Design Platform LLC – Lead Architect Caroline Wilding

Builder: R&M Parker Tech Center Inc.

Comments from judges: “At home in a pair of historic landmarks, Cuba Cuba Café & Bar was already a bright spot in the Golden Triangle neighborhood before this project sought to create an indoor/outdoor dining experience that was more seamless than its previous patio with the interior dining and provided a similar feel to the eclectic character of the restaurant. The resulting patio addition, including a “green wall” on the north façade, compliments those original homes, while activating the street along 12th Avenue and creating new framed views of the downtown skyline.”

Winner: Illegal Pete’s at Colfax & Race


Illegal Pete’s

Address: 2001 E. Colfax Ave.

Owner: Kentro Group

Architects: Melissa Friday, Xan Creative; Tim Politis, One Line Studio

Builder: Spectrum General Contractors

Comments from judges: “With several locations across Denver—including a previous Mayor’s Design Award winner—Illegal Pete’s settled in on the edge of City Park West, along East Colfax Avenue, with the intent to revitalize a classic but dilapidated IHOP A-frame building and to fully activate the corner of Colfax and Race. Split-rail wood fencing, bark mulch, and wildflower seeds instead of grass sod were used for the exterior railing and landscaping to soften the corner and bring a bit of prairie to the city. The project also incorporates the work of local artists in a mural that adds to the vibrancy of the already colorful East Colfax corridor.”

Winner: Cobbler’s Corner


Cobbler’s Corner

Address: 2436 W. 44th Ave.

Owner: Cobbler’s Corner LLC, Jack and Judy Pottle and Paul Tamburello

Architect: Ted Schultz, Theodore Schultz LLC

Builder: Tom Hewitson, Miramar Construction

Comments from judges: “Cobbler’s Corner is a legacy project of Jack and Judy Pottle and their family−a family that traces its roots in the building to 1929, when Alcott Shoe Repair opened. For more than 30 years, the shop formed part of a neighborhood hub that also included a grocery store, bakery, and creamery. Starting in 2012, project partners envisioned returning the property to its original function as a neighborhood commercial and social hub, including substantial space for community gatherings. A faithful restoration of the original building and the addition of 10,000 square feet of new construction have brought Cobbler’s Corner back as a gathering place in the Sunnyside neighborhood.”

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

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…