2350 Arapahoe Street
Sat and Sun 11AM–5PM
Architect: Semple Brown Design
Architectural Style: Contemporary
Original Building: 1970s precast concrete warehouse
Year Built: original building unknown, current “rework” done in 2008
Photo Restriction: Must give credit to artist
The Redline Arts Building is important because it contributes to the revitalization of a declining warehouse district immediately north of the Downtown City Center. The building encourages art and creative endeavors and boasts a community service-centered mission. Additionally, the building has been updated to give a contemporary architectural appearance that provides the neighborhood with a pleasing new look that reimagines the past industrial vernacular.
Semple Brown Design has been practicing in Denver since 1982, and Bryan Schmidt served as the Redline Arts Building principal. The firm does mixed use, cultural, hospitality, workplace, restaurant, historic, educational, recreational, and residential projects. They were the American Institute of Architects Colorado firm of the year in 2005, and the Denver firm of the year in 2002. Their work has been acknowledged with 103 design awards and seven firm awards.
The firm boasts six Principals, four Associates, and a staff of 17 designers and administrators. The services they offer are: architecture, interiors, urban planning, graphic design and signage, marketing, and furniture design.
The building faces 24th Street, but is set back, and is flush with the sidewalk edge on Arapahoe Street. The east half of the 24th Street lot in front of the building is paved parking with three former building overhead doors facing the lot, while the west side of the lot has a fence enclosed raised patio. The building façade has been reworked with a new wall and three enlarged one-and-a-half story-high openings with aluminum storefront infill.
The Arapahoe Street building wall has two projected narrow wall panels and a wide full height painted mural to provide visual relief to the otherwise former block wall, which is now repainted. The rear and east side of the building retains the former walls, complete with new paint to refresh the elevation.
The building utilizes current materials including aluminum frames, opaque and tinted glass, and wall panels, all in addition to contemporary paint colors that provide aesthetic more in line with today’s styles. The raised patio enclosure is done with square metal mesh and narrow steel tube columns, which gives it an industrial and modern appearance. The wide concrete stairs within the enclosure emphasize the building’s inviting entrance.
Redline is a nonprofit contemporary arts center. The building fosters education and engagement between artists and the community to create positive social change. Redline was founded in 2008 by artist and philanthropist Laura Menarge, and was originally created to support local emerging artists and provide opportunities for local residents.
Redline was purposely built in the Five Points neighborhood in order to help revitalize the neighborhood by fostering serviced for the immediate community and counteracting past neglect and displacement of the area’s residents.
www.redlineart.org; www.semplebrown.com; Thomas Sanders, personal visit, Jan. 2017.