Provided: Design, Fabrication, Installation
Location: Denver, CO. Lower Level
Completed: Spring 2017
The rock foundation walls framing the ground floor of Denver’s Union Station are the only remaining element from original structure built in 1881. The upstairs areas, with their vaulted ceilings and expansive atmosphere, were reconstructed after a fire in 1930, and more recently remodeled before re-opening to the public in 2014. tres birds workshop was hired in early 2017 to address the low-ceiling, low-glamour base-level floor.
With fixed walls and ceiling height, tres birds opted to focus efforts on exaggerating the space’s horizontal qualities, and infusing them with art. The project is more art installation than architecture, and highlights tres birds’ agility and inventive response to limitations.
Functionally, the basement includes public restrooms, conference areas, event spaces, and a kitchen. Between January and March 2017, tres birds designed and installed a series of large light-boxes (up to 80’ in length); layered with black-and-white photography by local, Denver artist Christopher James; and paired with vintage paintings of trains from the early 1900’s.
The light boxes are comprised of grid LED’s, and can be color-temperature controled via phone app (changed to blue, orange, green, etc. with the touch of a button). The photographs are largely images of Denver’s forbidden areas, printed on fabric and stretched across the oversized light boxes. Artist Christopher James is a fence-jumper, and has amassed a collection that draws attention to some of Denver’s less known areas. A series of paintings line the conference room facade: train imagery by American artists at the turn of the century.
As a finishing detail, tres birds used a prismatic glass film to break-up the multi-functional space. The glass appears translucent when viewed from one angle, transparent when viewed from another, and allows for privacy in key areas despite the shared lighting and artwork in-between. Everything detail was curated by tres birds workshop.
For more of our work, visit: tresbirds.com