2660 WALNUT ST
Provided: Architecture + General Contracting
Location: Denver, CO
Completed: Spring 2016
2660 Walnut stands at the NW corner of “Art Alley”, a landmark of Denver’s RiNo district. Marked by a three story mural flanking two sides, the building is a reflection of the neighborhood’s growing connection to street art.
Between contract and construction, tres birds workshop and developer Ken Wolf invited LA street artist Vyalone to paint the exterior of the building as part of the annual September event Colorado CRUSH Street Art Festival.
By November, tres birds had permits in hand and began structural renovations—modernizing interior and exterior spaces from compartmentalized offices, warehouse and mint factory to healthy, energy efficient, retail and office environment with rooftop garden. Through tres birds’ design/build process, they were able to manage construction while preserving Vyalone’s work, completing the project in just 7 months.
Along Walnut St., four retail spaces are now marked by large openings housing thin, customized glass panels. The exterior is painted in a variety of black hues, creating subtle patterns and a sophisticated, hushed feeling distinct from the clamor of Walnut Street.
Along “Art Alley”, circular, porthole-like windows allow fresh air and light to enter ground-floor offices without disrupting the artwork. All of the building’s retail and office spaces back to a central glass stairwell, a feature that pulls ambient light into the lower levels and serves as a thermal flue in warm Summer months.
The southeast facing communal rooftop garden looks out over downtown Denver. External insulation and rising heat from the spaces below regulate soil temperature, allowing for an extended growing season that, in year one, provided blooms for nine full months. Scattered skylights punch through to the floor below. Third-floor offices look out over the growth while shielding the patio area from strong Western winds.
Inside, the spaces are simple, modern, and healthy. The building requires minimal artificial lighting and employs passive ventilation to continuously circulate fresh air. Energy efficient insulation mitigates thermal breaks while concrete walls and flooring regulate temperature. The entire project has been outfitted with LED lighting systems that are regulated by daylight sensors.
In the last few years, RiNo has become a place for Denver’s inspired: artists, merchants, restaurateurs, and those who want to start something unconventional. This building as a symbol of that culture. It has a subtle confidence that echoes both Ken Wolf and tres birds’ reverence for artwork, and commitment to conscientious development.
For more of our work, visit: tresbirds.com