Take Denver, Colorado: a city with a rapidly-rising, active population of young tech talent and entrepreneurs that make the most of the economic opportunities and the great outdoors (which is easy when you have on average more sunny days a year than Hawaii!) Beyond its business-friendly taxation laws and excellent infrastructure, the vibrant, collaborative culture and focus on wellbeing and work-life balance have set the pace for other forward-thinking US cities.
Even before the current situation made home offices the new normal, a coffee bar was no longer enough to inspire excitement about a workplace. MAWD’s approach uses research and insights to create engaging “wow” moments geared towards specific audiences, and for a recent renovation project, we used this information to create a tailored experience for Coloradans’ integrated lifestyle. Our goal was to make their lives easier through our design, so that they could work smarter and be more productive.
The existing massive glass atrium of a 20-story office building featured a lobby that provided light and space but lacked a clear sense of warmth and purpose. With our design, we wanted to bring it to a human scale and create a more functional destination for meeting, socializing and collaborating. In addition to a circular bar that connects to a restaurant and grab-and-go eating options, tenants can hang out on “Spanish Steps” that connect to a mezzanine level. There’s also a flexible “Streetscape,” lined with benches, planting and streetlights, that can be both a meeting spot and a space for pop-ups or functions.
But the focal point has to be the communal fireplace, which draws friends and colleagues together in a way that’s both elemental and fun. In this warm and cozy spot, the local community can rediscover genuine connection amidst the city’s cold, snowy winters.