A new entry and identity for this 1980’s-era building in Denver’s historic Lower Downtown district
Chamber Building, Condominium Association
RNL was initially contracted to provide the vision for a new entry and identity for this 1980’s-era building in Denver’s historic Lower Downtown district. The building is home to both the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and to Denver’s chapter of Junior Achievement. The building was also analyzed for energy efficiency and potential related upgrades.
The original building’s entry, set at a 45 degree angle to the street, presents difficulties for pedestrian access and approach. Because the entry was recessed from the sidewalk, it also constrained the vestibule and elevator lobby inside the building. The exterior space in front of the entry separated the ground-floor restaurant and retail space at the north end of the building from the exterior courtyard to the south of the building. That courtyard, a great amenity for the building and used in the evenings by the restaurant tenant, had fallen into disrepair.
The design solution was to extend the lobby out to the sidewalk line, incorporating existing exterior space into a greatly enlarged entrance. This design approach served the secondary goal of providing interior-controlled and secured access from the restaurant to the courtyard. The expanded lobby received new finishes throughout, a much-needed update from the original 1980’s-era design. The new lobby also provided a degree of solar protection for the first and second floors which are south-facing and tended to overheat in its original condition. The glass at the ground level, above the entry was also replaced to improve efficiency with heat gain.
In addition to these changes, a small balcony on the 4th floor was expanded and an extension of the roof was designed to provide shading for the south-facing windows.