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Denver Design Week's architecture tours include a preview of Lot 28, a mix of retail, office space, restaurants, and event space housed in a former warehouse. Rendering courtesy of Denver Design Week

Denver Design Week’s Can’t-Miss Architecture Tours

Take an up-close look at new and iconic architecture—from a sustainable, urban housing community in RiNo to Red Rocks Amphitheatre—that’s making the Mile High City a major destination in the world of modern design.

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It’s almost time for Denver Design Week, a seven-day series of lectures, workshops, and tours that celebrate the region’s best design—from architecture and interiors to art and technology.

From October 12–19, sites around the city will host more than 30 panel discussions and keynote presentations about modern design and architecture in Denver, led by some of the region’s top design experts. There’s something for every sort of design geek, from a discussion on Denver’s urban landscape led by Tryba Architects’ principal John McIntyre, to an exploration of how tiny homes can help solve Denver’s affordable housing crisis.

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But if you love to see great design firsthand (like we do), then mark your calendars for this year’s tours of some of the Mile High City’s most innovative architecture; all take place Saturday and Sunday, October 13–14 (Bonus: Enter promo code 5280FIFTY at checkout when registering online for any tour, session, party, or keynote presentation, and receive a 50-percent discount).

Here are our picks of the tours you won’t want to miss:

Saturday, October 13

TOUR: Lot Twenty-Eight
9 a.m.
Lot 28
28th and Blake streets

OZ Architecture’s Jen Holmes (project architect for Lot 28) and Alison Nestel-Patt of real estate development firm Formativ lead a tour of a 45,000-square-foot former warehouse that has been transformed into a mixed-use space comprising retail, creative office space, food and beverage concepts, and 2,400 square feet of indoor event space. The project’s centerpiece is a 20,000-square-foot “urban oasis,” a sprawling outdoor patio—designed in collaboration with Denver landscape architecture and planning firm Wenk Associates—that will host community events ranging from yoga classes to bike-in movie nights.

AEG RiNo concert hall Rendering courtesy of Works Progress Architecture
A rendering of the AEG RiNo Concert Hall, a prominent feature of the forthcoming 14-acre, mixed-use North Wynkoop project in RiNo. Rendering courtesy of Works Progress Architecture

TOUR: AEG RiNo Concert Hall, Hard Hat Tour
11 a.m.
Circa Building
1615 Platte St.

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Opening in RiNo in 2020, the AEG Mission Ballroom Concert Hall is the centerpiece of the 14-acre, mixed-use North Wynkoop project by Westfield Company, the developer behind Stanley Marketplace. Entertainment giant AEG—which produces concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Pepsi Center, and Fiddler’s Green—and Works Progress Architecture have incorporated cutting-edge features into the new venue, including a moving stage, state-of-the-art sound and lights, rising rows, and a dance floor. On this tour—led by Westfield Company’s managing partner Kevin McClintock, Works Progress Architecture’s founding principal Carrie Strickland, and AEG Live Rocky Mountains’ vice president Don Strasburg—attendees will learn the secrets to designing a concert hall that provides exceptional audio visuals and security to large and small crowds.

Le Meridien/AC Hotel Photo courtesy of Denver Design Week
The dual-branded Le Meridien/AC Hotel is a sleek new landmark at the corner of 15th and California Streets. Photo courtesy of Denver Design Week

TOUR: Le Meridien/AC Hotel
1 p.m.
Le Meridien/AC Hotel
1475 California St.

Michael Strohmer, principal of global design firm HKS’s hospitality group, guides a tour of one of Denver’s newest luxury hotels, the dual-branded Le Meridien/AC Hotel. The thoughtful design begins with a glass-walled exterior that engages the streetscape; continues at the reception desk, where an art installation comprising hundreds of tiny portraits of Marie Antoinette hangs; then sweeps up a grand staircase that rises to a crystal chandelier. The tour includes the hotel’s multiple food and beverage venues, including Corinne restaurant, 54thirty Rooftop (Denver’s highest rooftop bar), the Lobbyist, AC Kitchen, Bar AC, and stylish meeting space on the corner of 15th and California Streets.

Sunday, October 14

Spark Sustainability Park rendering courtesy of Denver Design Week
A rendering of the eco-conscious Spark Sustainability Park community in RiNo. Rendering courtesy of Denver Design Week

TOUR: Spark Sustainability Park
11 a.m.
2525 Arapahoe St., meet in front of the greenhouse

The developers behind this new RiNo micro-hood reconsidered what an urban housing community could be before designing more than 90 residential units—ranging from studios to four-bedroom dwellings to townhomes—a private park, vertical greenhouse, and urban soil farm. On this tour, the developer (Westfield Company), architect (Tres Birds Workshop), and greenhouse manager (Altius Farms), as well as the director of real estate development for the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver, share their vision of a healthy and sustainable community—and how it will impact residents and surrounding neighborhoods.

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red rocks Photo courtesy of Denver Design Week
You’ve seen this iconic view of Red Rocks Amphitheatre before; this year’s Denver Design Week tour of the venue takes attendees backstage and underground. Photo courtesy of Denver Design Week

TOUR: Red Rocks – Behind the Scenes
1:30 p.m.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, upper north parking lot
18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison

Even if you’ve been enjoying concerts at Red Rocks for years, you’ve never seen this side of the iconic venue before. Denver Arts and Venues leads the limited-capacity tour through the amphitheater’s underground tunnels and backstage areas.

If you go: The tours are $15 each and can be booked on Eventbrite. To learn more about Denver Design Week, and to view a full schedule of events, visit denverdesignweek.com.

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