The renovation of the Food Bank for Larimer County's new Headquarters and Distribution Center on Wright Drive is under way! Dohn Construction has completed selective demolition of the interior to make way for a new kitchen, volunteer areas, and offices, along with cleaning up and re-cladding portions of the exterior. As is always true of the construction process, it may not look like much yet, but we're excited to see it progress!
After collecting the required 12 months of real-world energy use data, the City of Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building (UAB) at 222 Laporte has received an Energy Star Score of 100! Stu Reeve, the CoFC Energy Manager, called it "Exciting news! [...] Pretty impressive for the first year of operation."
The LEED Platinum building features a 100 KW rooftop solar array, extensive and careful daylighting, recycled and local materials, and a heat pump mechanical system. These systems are also engineered to tie-in with future projects as the city develops a civic campus. You can see photos and find more information at the project's page.
Confluence was featured prominently Sunday in the Business section of the Coloradoan, in a feature on buildings that are reshaping Fort Collins, alongside other projects that are revitalizing the River District. We've received lots of positive feedback on the article, so thank you! If you haven't read it yet, you can find it at the Coloradoan's website, or if you'd like more information on the project, check out our project page or go straight to the Confluence site.
Presales are going on now, with units going fast!
The recently completed Utilities Administration Building was awarded LEED Platinum in a ceremony today. We're quite excited about the designation, as speakers presented it as the first building in Colorado (and only the third in the country and fourth in the world) to be awarded Platinum under the new LEED v4 standard for new construction.
Platinum was the City of Fort Collins' target from the inception of the project, and we were pleased to be able to work so closely with the City and RNL to meet that target.
Congratulations, City of Fort Collins! And thank you for helping to lead the charge on sustainability!
April is Colorado Architecture Month, an as part of the festivities, we were asked by AIA Colorado to put together something to demonstrate what a day in the life of an architect in Fort Collins is like. After a good deal of head-scratching, Spencer through together a .gif (below) documenting the most important aspects of architecture life: coffee, mouse-clicks, and custom desktop backgrounds.
Spencer also provided a few slightly verbose answers to some of AIA Colorado's questions, which they understandably didn't have room for, so we've reproduced them here:
What do you enjoy most about being an architect? An architect in Northern Colorado?
I love lots of aspects of my job (drawing all day, working with great people, a sense of play in the things we do) but I think the thing I enjoy most is the chance to think about and directly affect part of the world that is so important but so hidden in plain sight.
Architecture and the urban environment have a huge impact on where and how we live and work and play and gather and discuss; they form perhaps our largest collective experiences and endeavors. But a big part of their power is that they exist in the background, silently keeping us warm and dry, shaping space and activity while we go on about our days.
I find it really rewarding to be able to help shape that background, and I feel privileged to get a view into a part of the world that goes largely unnoticed.
Northern Colorado is an interesting example of this. As Fort Collins continues to grow, I think the quality of urban space and architectural design is becoming more frequently discussed and more highly valued, both in the form of traditional downtown urbanism and in new architectures unique to our context. This is of course a boon for us as architects, as it allows a greater public investment in and engagement with our work. That said, I think architecture and urban design will always remain somewhere below the surface of the public consciousness, which I think is appropriate.
What has been your favorite project to work on? (It would be great to have a photo to go with this!)
I’ve really enjoyed working on our smaller, more local projects (405 Linden, Confluence, Block One) as it’s incredibly rewarding to see the real-world results of your work.
My favorite project, though, might be 1500 Kapiolani, in Honolulu. Honolulu is a super interesting context for the extremity of the relationship between the ocean, mountains, and city, which is highly pertinent to Northern Colorado as well. I’m also quite infatuated with the mirrored relationship between the two towers, both as a massing and an experience.
The part I’ve really enjoyed about working on it has been the development of the very simple, elegant diagram into this very messy and complicated series of functional requirements and front and back of house relationships; developing a sketch into a working building while keeping the essence of the sketch. To me, that’s what architecture is about, so I’m thrilled to get a chance to put it into practice.
We're thrilled to be able to contribute to Architecture Month again, and we look forward to participating again next year!
We believe it's important to take a step back from time to time; gain a little distance, re-evaluate. With that in mind, we whisked the office up to Glen Haven for a 24 hour whirlwind of spirited discussion, goal-setting, and bonding. We accomplished a lot, but we'll leave ourselves a little more time next year.
In the meantime, back to work!