The Denver Coliseum & Marketplace : Andrew Goodwin Brown

Weaving architecture, redevelopment, and agriculture together at the Denver Coliseum site will re-activate this icon on a national level. Further, it will stitch both the Brighton and Washington corridors into the fabric of the Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods, which have been cut off from the urban city fabric and a district park by Interstate 70. By understanding the sites adjacent to the future development of National Western Stock Show, the Denver Coliseum holds a strong southern bookend position that can enhance not only the experience of the stock show, but create a new social hub for the city and reconnect the isolated neighborhoods.

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The Denver Coliseum (opened 1951)


Four solutions to the current problems are proposed for the site; the Coliseum redevelopment, a constructed wetlands park, newly integrated parking garage food forest, and an outdoor marketplace with integrated office cube. A perforated metal screen intertwines the components into a cohesive unit. The screen provides shade for public space, separates public/private space in the Coliseum, and wraps the office cube to capture heat for energy production.


The aging Coliseum facility should be repurposed into a space that is activated everyday of the week. The highest and best use of this space is for agriculture and business development. Due to lack of food access in the north Denver region, the proposed redevelopment will create a regional food production hub that will aide not only the neighborhoods adjacent but the Rocky Mountain region as a whole.

The Coliseum is currently home to events ranging from amateur hockey and concerts to a nationally renowned dog show. These events will be moved to the new arena that is planned for the National Western Stock Show development. The stock show is only held two weeks of the year and remains dormant throughout the rest. Activating stock show buildings throughout the year makes a more sustainable usage for the site.

The Coliseum interior will house The Marketplace. It will be home to pop up market stands that range from produce, butchers, bakeries, restaurants, and other consumer edibles. The south end of the Coliseum will house vertical greenhouses to provide for food production. The tenant-owner of the Rocky Mountain Regional Produce space will work with the GrowHaus, a small scale urban agriculture concept that is beloved by the local neighborhoods. Coupled with food production, the south side of the Coliseum will become a regional food hub – gathering farmer goods from around the region and redistributing locally to improve food costs and quality.


The north end of the Coliseum will be home to business “incubators”. The idea of a sharing-economy is currently trending and our population’s spirit of entrepreneurship is on the verge of flourishing as it once has in America’s history. The structural bays will be treated as an infill colonnade opening out to the street. Each bay will be provide small-scale restaurant space that allows budding entrepreneurs to test concepts and gain exposure to investors in order to open brick and mortar locations. It will also be home to a kitchen incubator that hosts a shareable kitchen space for educational and business opportunities. This leads to a brewery co-opt, the first in the nation, where budding master brewers can produce small batch productions to encourage large-scale investment. Work-share office space will be available on the second and third level of the Coliseum to promote further affordable and shareable space and encourage entrepreneurship.


Sustainable redevelopment systems are also incorporated. The vertical greenhouses will infill the current structural bays to make use of strong southern heat gain for food production needs and heat capture to be reused throughout the facility. Large operable skylights will be cut into the existing roof to provide day lighting and natural ventilation.


The current environmental condition of the site includes an incredible amount of impervious pavement and has also been marked by the EPA as a Superfund site. To mitigate the environmental issues of the site, a constructed wetland park is proposed to replace current surface parking on the southwestern corner of the site. It will control site runoff from the entire northern district and neighborhoods before entering the Platte River, enhance the size and connection of the current failing park, and use phyto-remediation to cleanse the soil over a 30-year period. This process will help reclaim the health of the Platte River. The constructed wetland will be treated as public park space, with paths and social spaces intertwined. The relocated parking will connect the park with the street. The roof of the garage will be home to a food forest; an urban park that grows produce. The food forest serves two goals; aiding in the production of food and extending the park to the street. Denver will be the second in the nation, behind Portland, to grow food outdoors in a dense urban environment.


The east entry of the Coliseum will be home to a new outdoor marketplace that intertwines shops and restaurants to create a public gathering spaces. This allows the continuity to the Brighton Corridor Redevelopment happening a half mile south of the site. The North Plaza will provide impromptu space for pop-markets and events. It has great exposure to the busy boulevard, and trolly stop directly adjacent and proposed RTD Station a 5 minute walk away







Group 1 – Ken Roberts, Robert Piane, Emily Chastain

CSU School of Science and Fermentation

Our mission for the revitalization of the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods was to stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve quality of life for the residents by implementing a sustainable urban design that will help mature the area appropriately. This could only happen by connecting these two neighborhoods that had historically been separated by the National Stockshow grounds as well as the South Platte River. Currently only one vehicular bridge is maintained connecting the two sides.Character Sketch Board 30x42-PRINT

A large part of our master plan focused on pedestrian connections over the river and creating pockets of parks for a way finding tool from one side to the other. It also furthered the idea of rerouting I-70 and turning the portion running through these neighborhoods into a boulevard. This would take down the massive wall that penetrated the entirety of this neighborhood and would greatly increase air quality for its residents.

As we focused down onto our smaller site we wanted to take on the issue of the National Western Stock show and its presence within the community. Within this site we wanted to bring a piece of CSU’s campus to the area, a fledgling program, the School of Science and Fermentation. Fermentation, and particularly brewing is a growing field not only within CSU but also Denver. We believed this would be an interesting economic growth tool for the area, as well as an experiment for urban farming and Eco-City development.

The fermentation campus would include a Classrooms building with general classrooms, general labs and a few offices; a small-scale Brewery that would be a student run working brewery that would also serve the public; and a Food Labs with more specific labs where food fermentation would taught. The rest of the campus is open to growing the food and hops used in the labs as well as the brewery.7

Space Planning

The 3 weeks in which the National Western Stock Show comes to town provides this site with an interesting opportunity. In these 3 weeks the center of CSU’s campus is transformed into hundreds of livestock pens and visitors from around the country. This is one of Denver’s last ties to its “Wild West” roots, and to have this happen within an Agricultural founded school is one of this site’s most appealing draws.

The problem comes with what to do with the site the other 49 weeks of the year. Our Group wanted to incorporate needs from CSU, the City of Denver, and the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea Communities to help Program the space. We decided to write a script that produces possible design solutions working within the 15’X15’ module of the Livestock Pens. These solutions vary depending on Annual needs by these groups and incorporate uses such as Hops Vineyards, Community Gardens, Compost/Waste Management, Parks, Athletic Fields, etc. We feel this is a viable method for space planning due to the “clean slate” this site gets annually.


A key project objective of the studio was to establish a new standard of excellence for environmentally sustainable design in the community. All of the pavilions of our mini campus incorporate many sustainable design innovations and seeks to integrate these into the architecture and explore the expressive potential of such systems. Each pavilion responds to the site with a different environmental approach which is directly associated to the specific program identified with them.

Zero Net Energy Brewery

1Transparency became an architectural theme at many levels of the brewery, allowing an inviting and welcoming building that is accessible and open to public view. The tapered glass atrium evolved in response to the ambitious sustainability objectives of the project, and equally to the sense of layered transparency and the project’s aspirational quality.

The environmental atrium is a tapering glass shaft which draws in clean outside air to passively cool the entire brewery. The draw comes from the prevailing southwestern winds and creates a turbulence at the peak of the brewery, which pressurizes air down the tapering façade. Use of specially selected plants in the glass shaft will act as a bio-filter to further clean or “wash” the air as it passes through the environmental atrium. Ambient light will naturally filter through these layers and light 90% of the brewery program. Once the clean air passes through the atrium it will enter a thermal labyrinth passively cooling the air by dissipating heat with Earth’s near constant subterranean temperature(heating or cooling). Once the air has been cleaned and cooled it is distributed through the floor plenum into the main brew space, and the cool air encourages a thermal gradient through the heavy heating loads of all the brewing equipment. Hot air is exhausted with fans and ventilation at the top-level of the brewery.

The array of environmental systems inherent to our brewery design also include taking advantage of the southern exposure of the site with a solar thermal system which reduces the large loads of the brewing process heat applications. A solar photovoltaic system offsets additional grid power demands while shading and outdoor classroom space which is used for monitoring the fermentation vessels or overflow seating to the taproom at the ground level.

Zero Net Energy Classroom

With the intention of creating a common architectural language throughout the CSU Denver campus, the classroom and food labs also have large west-facing interstitial walls. Large blocks of program wrapped in Concrete provide thermal mass to limit the sun exposure along the west façade. The upper thermal mass wall collects heat and operable louvers along the top of the wall (both interior and exterior) allow for both heating and ventilation depending on the season/building need.


Zero Net Energy Food Labs

The Labs building incorporated elements of the Classroom’s energy efficient design, being that both buildings faced the same orientation. A large interstitial wall helps circulate air in the common spaces of the building by creating a heat differential that pulls the warm air up and out from the openings at the top. A thermal mass wall along the east of the building collects and transfers heat throughout the day and night. The long slotted windows within this mass wall are depressed so the wall creates shading and direct sunlight does not enter the building.

The attached greenhouse is angled toward the prevailing winds to help funnel air movement into the exterior spaces as well as into the building. This greenhouse is also a heat sink during the winter. As the air is heated within the greenhouse it is then moved mechanically through the building through ducts helping to offset heating needs. The air then travels below the occupied space in a cavity within the building foundation to help trap heat within the concrete flooring.

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Group 4: Mike Reilly and Sarah Williams

This project seeks to advance the dialogue regarding the connection of two isolated communities via the creation of a sustainable urban node at the National Western Complex.

First and foremost, our design for the Globeville Learning Center will provide hands-on opportunities for learning and skill development through nature-based inquiry and outdoor exploration.  The Center will be a safe environment for students and families to connect to the Platte River corridor.  Our project will be successful if it empowers the community with a sense of place.

Courtyard including educational landscapes and outdoor classrooms. Gardens and learning areas are based on the 5 senses, helping young learners to connect to their natural environment in many ways.

Our project objective is a response to the community’s call for an additional preschool facility.  Our goal is to accommodate 108 students in a safe and healthy environment.  The facility and its surrounding amenities will establish a learning experience for both students and families.

As an example of sustainable design, the Globeville Learning Center will strive towards being a zero-net energy building that integrates education with sustainable design.  The building allows students and families to experience first-hand how a building can be responsive to its climatic conditions.

The building footprint allows for a courtyard away from the street to provide a safe, fun, learning environment for both early learners and the surrounding Globeville Community.
The building footprint allows for a courtyard away from the street to provide a safe, fun, learning environment for both early learners and the surrounding Globeville Community.

In designing the learning center, specific attention will be paid to natural day lighting and its effect on student performance.  While designing the landscape, specific attention will be paid to water runoff and purification.  The building and landscape will facilitate the remediation of an area that has incurred chronic destruction by decades of industrial use.  In this way, the Learning Center will be a model for future sustainable development while simultaneously serving as an educational resource.

The proposed site for the Learning Center is adjacent to the Platte River immediately North of 51st Street.  The facility will connect to the Platte River greenway, allowing for extensive urban agriculture and opportunities for water management.  The site will be a connective node along a path between Globeville, the National Western Stock Show grounds, and the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.

Our design implements new sustainable techniques in order to create a healthy area seen as a sense of place; to house a live, work, and play environment.

The Globeville Learning Center focuses on integrating the 5 senses into learning experiences. Specific examples include: green walls that transition from outdoor to indoor learning environments, multiple gardens to foster interactive sustainable learning, and a center focused on educating the Globeville Community.

To successfully implement the sustainability goals mentioned above, we employed several complementary strategies. Such strategies include a closed-loop hydronic heating system, passive day lighting, PV optimization, thermal coupling, and thermal walls and roofs. The material palette has been chosen to complement the existing industrial influence of the surrounding context. The materials are based on resource efficiency, embodied energy, recyclability, permeability, and improved occupant health.

The learning center is designed to provide a creative and encouraging atmosphere to nurture the development of children. Bright colors, light directed to provide fun patterns, as well as interesting materials and textures all allow for sensory learning and experiences.

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Final Boards.indd

Group 6 – James Graham

The revitalization of the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood relies on an expansion of Denver’s urban center facilitated focused around social activity through an architecturally responsible stitching of two historically disparate areas. To set the stage for a community development aimed at pushing an architecturally-charged language, creating a destination is an important goal set early on in the process.

Focusing more locally within the Elyria neighborhood, the TOD proposed by the city of Denver presents an opportunity to be a catalyst for change in the entire region and future developments to the North. Following up with my original statement, social-mindedness lies at the center of the design of the entire development. This involves an implementation of development that acknowledges the continuing existence of surrounding neighborhoods. Acting as “phase one” for the redevelopment, the TOD is geared to be the epicenter for revitalization of both the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods. My primary goal with the Phase One development is to plant the seed for future development that retains both our shared goals of ZNE/greenbuild/sustainability as well as a high degree of conceptual strength.

More specifically, planting the seed more physically embodies itself in this proposal in the implementation of an agricultural history of Colorado exhibit as well as agricultural research facilities in to the transit hub program. model 2In the Denver Metro area, where we are enveloped by metal and concrete, the notion of traditional farming is obsolete. For agriculture to thrive within a city like Denver, the ideas we have regarding cultivation and harvesting must adapt to fit out lifestyle.

The program of the building itself plays out as an experiential journey through the history of Colorado’s agricultural past towards exhibiting how we lie on the model 1cutting edge of agricultural technology today. Diagrammatically, this is shown through the red penetration through the building itself.

Fueled by current innovations in agricultural technology and the needs of city dwellers, this transit hub presents a variety of spaces in which the level of control is able to cater to anyone from traditional to the modern enthusiast farmer.

Empowering the Elerya-Swansea neighborhood through technology also allows influence of the farm to reach beyond its physical boundaries on the TOD site. This also serves to foster involvement on many levels within the community and into future developments spawned through this experience.

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3040 board 1

Group 5 – Sam Williams, Anthony Gengaro, and Ashley Hewitt

modelphoto4Founded in 1879, Globeville was built adjacent to the banks of the South Platte River. In the beginning, Globeville started as its own town with its own mayor and city hall. It was primarily a farming town until the smelter industry got under way and became extremely successful. The rail lines added to the success of the smelters by connecting Globeville to the rest of the country. The rail industry allowed the precious metals to be shipped across the country. With these industries booming, there grew an incredible need for laborers. Many immigrant workers responded to the job demand and were hired for the more dangerous jobs in the smelters and train yards. Working conditions were very dangerous and neighborhoods were polluted from the industry. As more immigrant workers moved to Globeville there was an effort to preserve their old-world heritage of art, food, education and worship. The immigrant workers built their own clubhouses, schools and churches to worship in.

Another trade that brought more job opportunities and wealth to individuals was the cattle industry. Globeville boasted that it was one of the largest meatpacking rows in the entire country. Many immigrant workers found themselves employed in the slaughter houses to keep up with the country’s demand for meat. Although cattle do not live in Globeville today, the tradition of cattle farming is still represented through the National Western Stock Show which is held annually every January. The stock show was first held back in 1906 and was intended to highlight forward thinking, better breeding techniques, genetic development, and feeding techniques. These stock shows used to be limited to the United States, but they have now been opened up to entrants from all around the world. The National Western Stock Show is one of the largest in the world and holds over 18,000 entries.

From its beginning, Globeville has been built around cattle farming and the smelter industry. As a result of these industries, the present neighborhoods are surrounded by factories, trains, smoke stacks and large highways. Interestingly, a lot of the immigrant workers from the early nineteen-hundreds have stayed in these neighborhoods and formed modern day Globeville and Elyria Swansea. Most of the families that still live in this area are third and fourth generation children from the original immigrant workers. During the later development of Globeville, the city of Denver asked Globeville become a part of the city, which they declined. Globeville continued to decline Denver’s offer for several years until the turn of the century when Denver was finally successful in convincing Globeville to become a part of the city. Many people strongly feel that Globeville was immediately forgotten. Denver has since neglected to put in basic infrastructure such as sidewalks, sewer lines, gas lines and other forms of development. In 2014 Elyria Swansea and Globeville are still in need of drastic development and are waiting for help from the city of Denver.​

Urban Seed Market Place

Our mission as a group is to address the various social, economic and environmental issues in the Globeville and Elyria Swansea neighborhoods. There is a high degree of pollution caused by I-70, rail lines and dense industry. Both neighborhoods lack healthy sources of food as well as local jobs. In addition, there are broken city grids which has resulted in a poor urban flow, and the neighborhoods to become fragmented. We are proposing to reconnect city grids and make new connections across the South Platte River. We will incorporate finger parks, walkways and bioswales to control and filter water runoff before it reenters the water tables and South Platte River. We will reconstruct Main Street by creating a sense of place, rezoning mixed use blocks, and adding live/work buildings. We will incorporate urban agriculture and establish a marketplace that will service both Elyria Swansea and Globeville. Our focus will be on the marketplace which will contain several functions such as vending stalls, greenhouse, agricultural processing, gallery space, restaurants, and cafes. The marketplace will be a net zero energy building which will become a model of sustainable design in the community. This facility will be a catalyst for new development, create jobs and encourage healthy living within both neighborhoods. 

How our design works:

By having aquaponics the excess waste from the fish that does not get cleaned out can be used for biomass input as well as the left over mash from the brewing process in the tap room, can be used to feed the fish as well as biomass. Biomass from the farm, the greenhouse, restroom waist, and compost from the market stalls will all be put into the biomass input to be digested into biogas. The macerator mashes the biomass and moves it into the anaerobic digester to remove the oxygen and create methane gas. The product that is not gas is compost that will then be transported across the North street to the exterior farm space. After the methane is created it is used to burn into a turbine to then create the energy to heat, cool and light the building.
The building was oriented on to help accommodate for modelphoto3the most common wind movement through the site and to allow for the best air movement. Using the venture affect the negative pressure in the hypocaust system will draw air into the labyrinth system to allow ground coupling to cool the air to be pushed up into the market space. In the market space the air will heat up and rise either into the greenhouse space or into the interstitial space. The air that enters the greenhouse will be held in the space longer to allow for the necessary heat to remain around the plants. The positive pressure on the North side of the elevated greenhouse will allow the air to be continuously pulled out of the louvers to recirculate the air. There will be an automated environmental control system in place to control the volume and velocity of air movement through the building. It will be comprised of dampers and louver systems throughout the entire building.
A thermal mass (gabion wall) was designed to be on the interior of a glass exterior wall to allow for the heat to be captured in the winter and to keep the stones cool in the summer. This is done by allowing the sun to hit the top of the gabion wall in the coldest months of the year allowing the entire thermal mass to be heated up and in the hottest months of the year the sun will only reach the middle of the exterior side walk to keep the thermal mass at a shaded cooler temperature. PV panels will also be attached to the south roof and will be operable to be able to move to the correct angle for the maximum energy gain depending on the time of year.

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Group 2: Elyria Solar House by Sean Lange and Elliott Watenpaugh


Our mission is to enhance the connectivity of Elyria-Swansea and Globeville through an elevated pedestrian bridge, a series of trolley lines and finger parks; creating numerous destinations revolving around urban agricultural practices, including an agricultural campus, citywide farmers market, market squares, and the re-creation of a main street based on a holistic approach to sustainable urbanism.

The proposed light rail stop, roughly located on 48th and Brighton will prove to be a centralized hub for the project. Utilizing the infrastructure set in place for such a building, we will connect a pedestrian bridge spanning over the rail yard, the multiple sets of tracks and the Platte River. This “high-line” type structure will be the focal connection between the disparate neighborhoods. Adjacent to the light-rail stop in Elyria-Swansea, our mission is to create a destination for local residents, visitors and traveling commuters, incorporating the connection to and from Elyria Park and a new Community Center.

Designing a series of three nodes (smaller destinations) will be our inevitable goal. Using the TOD/RTD light rail stop as the anchor point, we propose connecting 49th street to Brighton, re-establishing a broken portion of the city-grid. This pedestrian/bike friendly market corridor will provide ample space for local farmers markets, street vendors and communal block parties. Lining this proposed corridor will be a series of mixed-use buildings, incorporating ground-floor retail, possible office space, live-work units and a mixture of affordable housing types. Elyria Park will act as the third node/the terminus of this “market corridor,” activating the desolate and vacant park. We propose the construction of a new Community Center in Elyria Park, creating a place for families and visitors to gather and play.
The focus for our building will be the mixed-use structure on the corner of 49th and High Street. Fronting the market corridor and adjacent to Elyria Park/Elyria Community Center, this pro-type building will provide essential local retail and a variety of housing types for the growing population of Elyria-Swansea. Incorporating site-specific, climatic design attributes our mission is a net zero building. Optimizing orientation for natural daylight, passive-solar and natural ventilation will be a few driving design concepts. As a functional, beautiful and adaptable piece of architecture, this building will speak to the climate, surrounding neighborhoods, history and heritage of such an important site.

The Elyria Solar House, is a mixed-use housing prototype incorporating ground floor retail, single-family townhomes and an assortment of apartment layouts. To take full advantage of passive energy systems, the structure is oriented to gain maximum southern exposure. The overall form of the building utilizes a series of setbacks and stacking, allowing for optimal natural daylighting. This form influenced by terraced mountainsides allows the southern sun to penetrate through high clearstory windows, heating interior thermal mass-walls. A large living-atrium bisects the building, serving as a circulation corridor but more importantly as a passive and active heating and cooling system. Solar radiation penetrates the atrium’s glass skin, striking the interior northern wall. This brick façade is clad in a rather unique system. Recycled corrugated aluminum panels cover large portions of the interior wall. Water-filled evacuated tubes are fastened to the backside of the aluminum panels. In essence, the sun’s radiation heats up the aluminum, in turn heating up the water inside of the evacuated tubes. This hot water is pumped to an underground storage tank. During cold winter months, this stored hot water passes through a series of heat exchangers and is distributed through interstitial walls and floors as hot air. During hot summer months, the atrium has a seemingly adverse role. Cooler air is drawn in from a series of vents, located on the shaded northern sidewalk. This cool air draws through a subterranean network of ducts, roughly 15 feet below grade, passing through an evaporative cooler. This conditioned air is drawn through the same series of interstitial walls and floors, serving individual units and townhomes. The atrium utilizes the “stack chimney effect;” thereby, as the cool air rises it naturally warms. This warm air is drawn through dampers and back into the atrium. The air pressure within the atrium pulls this warm air up and is vented out the top of the glass enclosure. The atrium itself is designed with a significant slope (sloping up towards the north). As southern winds blow against this incline, pressure builds up. The increased wind speeds and pressure assist in pulling this warm air through and out of the building and its individual units. Integrated PV panels are housed on south-facing apartment roofs. Along with, integrated panels constructed into our vertical shading devices, the Elyria Solar House (ESH) is capable of producing a large portion of its electrical needs. By utilizing and incorporating passive and active systems to heat and cool the building, the ESH has proven to be an exemplary prototype and a truly efficient structure.