909 Walnut

909 Walnut

Boulder, Colorado

Located on one of the last remaining infill sites in historic downtown boulder, 909 walnut is in the heart of historic masonry, calling into question the solidity and opacity of the surrounding built context.

The building design respects and reinforces the historic nature of downtown while looking to the future with advanced technological systems. The modern facade enters into dialogue with the past through Its proportion, color, texture, and materiality. The design subverts the notion of private and public space. The street level was designed for a restaurant and the two upper levels as speculative offices. The goal was an exemplary building, including use of healthy building standards, and daylighting of each primary space, while maximizing allowable buildable area. 

There are two types of layering that define the building sequence from the street edge inward. The first is the programmatic layering of accessible open space: outdoor seating at the street and upper levels and the lobby with the public space of the street. Traditionally private spaces like conference rooms hang in glass boxes open to the public lobby. The second, the highly articulated layering of the facade: structure, skin, planters, and shading devices articulate how the building is made while reinforcing the gradual weaving of public urban space, public building space and the more private office spaces within.

The terracotta sunscreen is a screen designed to mediate excess solar energy heat gain to the south facade while also referencing the historical brick, ubiquitous to the area. The facade structure of terracotta slats, glass, and steel forms very light layered planes that allow the difference in how 100-year-old buildings differ from the technology of the present. Time is revealed through a contrast of both technology and experience. This project is a result of pure creativity within limits.

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Awards and Publications

2018 AIA Colorado Award of Excellence

2018 AIA Colorado Notable in the North



More Work

Many of our residential, institutional, and commercial architectural projects receive recognition and awards for their design and performance.