Ground-Breaking in Denver

Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 2:03 pm by

Market Station in downtown Denver is starting to taking shape. The groundbreaking for this multi-family, city block scale development will implement our design that is simultaneously highly site responsive and innovative in its architectural detailing and approach to masonry.  

Back in the summer of 2015, we were contacted by Continuum Partners with a unique urban design challenge in the Lower Downtown District of Denver. They tasked us to design an entire city block from the ground up. After a rigorous massing and architectural design review process, we generated multiple site design iterations, ultimately landing on site strategies that respected Continuum’s development model with high concentrations of mixed-use urban density along the iconic 16th Street Mall. Zooming out, we also focused on the adjacent urban texture of the secondary street arteries along Blake, Market, and 17th Street.

On the street level, Market Station will have 90,000 square-feet of commercial retail that came from analyzing the urban context with Gehl Studio. We created a group plan that promotes a network of vibrant pedestrian thoroughfares and to activate the site’s interior with unexpected opportunities for local retail environments.

Urban Design Plan by Gehl Studio


Urban Design Plan by Gehl Studio

Gehl Studio envisioned a balanced retail ecology, allowing small, local retailers to exist alongside large national retailers within a singular development. This serves as a dynamic counterpoint to the stoic, historically sensitive street façades.

On upper levels there will be 97,100 square-feet of offices space and 177,200 square-feet of residential. This also includes a 78,300 square-foot sub-grade parking garage with 338 spaces—the majority being valet-style with stacking cars operated by machine lifts for space economy. For the residential levels, we paired research derived during the design process with local, national, and international precedents for multi-family and mixed-use residential developments and consultations with Continuum’s leasing and property managers. As a result, Market Station will have two distinct residential rental products (54 luxury units and 171 market-rate units) catering to separate yet distinct demographics.

The amenities we designed promote interaction and social mingling among all tenants—a place where people can meet and make friends very quickly. The design for the residential aspect of Market Station were established from the following findings:

–Denver is receiving an influx of young professionals.
–For millennials, the city is an extension of one’s dwelling environment.
–Both young professionals and urban-dwelling/emptynesters are seeking simplicity and minimalism as a counterpoint to hectic lifestyles.
–Denver’s climate is extreme in both warm and cold months.
–Single-bedrooms and Studios are highly desirable to young demographics for both rental economy and spatial efficiency.
–Residential amenities are important selling points.


Our “maker ethos” will also come out on overall building envelope which responds to historical masonry craft, careful attention to fenestration, and details found throughout Market Street.

Brick color and texture were studied at an individual scale. The final selections were hand picked directly from a local Denver source so that the intrinsic properties of the clay blend naturally within the historical context of the site.

Throughout the design process, we explored the potential of the masonry to enhance the urban scale through digital modeling. In turn, the façade texture will be built by stacking bricks one by one to understand capacity and to be dynamic yet contextual. 

This is an exciting step in the realization of Market Station, and the hard work our team of architects, designer, and makers have put into pushing for design excellence at every aspect of this project.