Honor and Elegance
American Institute of Architects: Denver Citation Award
This 3,030 square foot space presented numerous challenges on an extremely limited budget. The original building was defined by load-bearing masonry walls extending 100 feet from the front property line to the alley in the rear. A critical step early in the design process was to determine whether the roof structure would be replaced or if there was a method to stabilize it and meet current snow loads. Humphries Poli Architects’ chosen concept was to stabilize the existing roof with the insertion of a wood truss running from the front to the rear of the structure at mid-span of the existing beams, with tension cables extending to each bearing wall. This simple solution was painted white in honor of its elegance. Mechanical and electrical needs were also addressed in a direct fashion. A primary HVAC duct parallels the new roof truss, distributing conditioned air, while bars of suspended track lighting, also parallel to the walls, provide a highly flexible lighting solution.
The newly created gallery is a beacon of activity in this recently renewed neighborhood. Initially for financial reasons, the simplicity of the engineering solution to restore the infrastructure is the primary strength of the design. The redevelopment of this nearly 100 year-old building is a testament to the classic design cliché that “less is more”.