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.
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
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.
TOUR: AEG RiNo Concert Hall, Hard Hat Tour
1615 Platte St.
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.
TOUR: Le Meridien/AC Hotel
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
TOUR: Spark Sustainability Park
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.
TOUR: Red Rocks – Behind the Scenes
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.