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.
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