Warehouse remake: Conversion project turns derelict freight terminal into modern office space [slideshow]

The goal of the Freight development is to attract businesses to an abandoned industrial zone north of downtown Denver.

August 22, 2013 |
Photo by Ron Johnson

The new Freight development in Denver infuses a 29,000-sf, mid-century shipping terminal with the next evolution of TAXI creative work spaces. Flexible and filled with natural light, Freight is designed with unique and customizable spaces to suit the needs of modern businesses. Common spaces and amenities promote collaboration.  

The goal of this transformation of a derelict freight terminal was to provide flexible tenant space with amenities such as common social spaces to lure “new economy” businesses to an abandoned industrial zone north of downtown Denver. The Denver warehouse redevelopment project, located between river and rail lines, is the most recent phase of a development that includes new and renovated structures that look to create a new workplace that uses architecture to foster interaction and create a culture of innovation.

The reuse preserves the carcass of the freight terminal, with its deep overhangs and garage bay openings, and inserts new elements to contrast old. Original paint and markings are left intact with new glass overhead doors that allow offices to open to the landscape. An internal skylit “street” and sculptural plywood ribbon wall punctuated with luminous entries provides internal circulation. The main entrance slices through the building, axially connecting the entry experience to the larger site and the urban skyline beyond. 



Outside, an existing metal shed projecting north was re-imaged. The new portion of the building along the river took inspiration from the movement of rail and containers, and uses trusses from the traditional administrative component at the head of the terminal that had been razed. A ghosting of the former truck dock pattern extends as adjacent landscape pattern.

Tenant spaces were arranged from a kit of industrial components and materials included reused glass panels from a hockey rink as internal partitions, salvaged bowling alley floors for benches, tables and counters, and industrial shelves in a variety of configurations to conform to a challenging budget. “International Orange” enlivens structural components throughout.

Client: Zeppelin Places

Architect: Stephen Dynia Architects

Site area: 4 acres

Gross Floor area: 29,000 sf

Location: Denver

Photos: Ron Johnson

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