Twist Of Freight

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Photos courtesy of Ron Johnson

The word “visionary” gets tossed around a lot when talking about architects, but when one of them can look at the carcass of a 30,000-square-foot 1950s industrial freight terminal in the middle of a railroad yard and picture a thriving commercial space filled with office suites for small businesses, it most certainly applies. 

Jackson, Wyoming-based architect Stephen Dynia’s award-winning Freight project transformed a massive terminal in Denver into an innovative new community while retaining the character of the building’s past life. 

“Its public face celebrates its past,” says Dynia, who used a corrugated skin that recalls shipping containers and bright orange accents on the façade to relate to the nearby rail cars. Inside, Dynia designed a large corridor that cuts through the building to link the individual units and provide public space with seating and meeting areas. New garage doors on the existing docks where tenants are housed act as giant operable windows in each space. The steel structural framework is intermittently exposed to keep the industrial past constantly in mind, and recycled materials from bowling alleys, hockey rinks, and nearby industrial buildings are reused for partitions and furnishings. 

“The gritty spatial character lends a durability that appeals to a wide variety of tenants,” Dynia says. “Art dealers and design professionals mix with Internet companies and an innovative preschool. This varied mix of tenants creates a vibrant neighborhood within the building.” 

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