Located in Lakewood, CO (a suburb of Denver), opposite Lake Rhoda and the historic Lakeside Amusement Park; the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Center (CPFFC) is a unique adaptive reuse project where we were able to compliment the existing brutalist 1971 brick building with warm native materials in contrast with exposed systems and industrial aesthetics, to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing union, while maintaining optimal functionality. The 18,000 sf commercial space is home to the Denver Federal Fire Credit Union (DFDFCU), Denver Fire Fighters Local 858, and affiliated offices.
The design goals consisted of restoring and reusing the dilapidated building’s existing materials while bringing a contemporary Denver aesthetic to the architecture and interiors. The project program explored changing the traditional bank teller model to something more personal and open for DFDFCU’s clients, while also giving them the flexibility to grow and adjust layouts the space in the future as necessary. This was achieved by developing a modular office system along with a raised flooring system with Faciliteq and Haworth that allows for a high level of flexibility and customization. All the electrical and mechanical for the main office environments are underneath the raised floor system.
In addition to reusing and sandblasting the existing brick as the base project material, locally sourced reclaimed white oak and kill beetle pine was used throughout the project to warm up the palette along with industrial hot rolled steel, birch plywood, and key areas of Sukiyaki Yakisugi (charred wood). The custom furniture and lighting were designed and fabricated by the architect/ designer with the rest of the furniture provided by Faciliteq, West Elm Contract, and a local millworker. The end result of the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Center is a multi-functional commercial space that creates a sense of home for employees, visitors, and clients alike, whom are much more like family than the latter.
Sustainable Design Intent and Innovation
The project emphasized maintaining and reusing the existing building structure and shell with minimal exterior modifications. Key Intent areas:
-The existing exterior/interior brick was restored and sandblasted, while being used as the foundation material for all other material specifications.
-The main entry modifications serve two purposes. First, it creates a steel box vestibule (with steel trellis) that accentuates the entry and houses the CPFFC’s Vintage Denver Firetruck as a showcase piece. More importantly, the new portal and trellis element prevents any issues of snow and water roof runoff that may affect patrons by creating black ice or other hazards, which is vital to Denver’s climate.
-The building maintains the existing Southern Opening to maximize views towards Lake Rhoda, while also bringing in natural daylighting for the space.
-The back exterior received a new covered patio with indoor/outdoor elements that tie in with the Event Hall space, allowing for multi-functional events with maximum views of Lake Rhoda and Lakeside Amusement Park seasonally.
-The raised flooring system allows for all electrical and mechanical to be underneath, which saved time, money, and reduced the carbon footprint impact of the construction process.
-The use of native reclaimed Colorado materials such as the Beetle Kill Pine compliment the existing architecture of the building while also providing a level of warmth to the interior spaces.
-Interior skylights were uncovered during the demo phase and restored to provide effective natural daylighting throughout the space.
1. West Elm Workspace
2. Haworth (office glass partitions, raised floor)
3. Interface carpet
4. Goby Walnut (live edge slab)
5. Allied Maker (pendants)
6. ALW (moonlight ring lights)