Studio Gang will bring Populus, an aspen tree-inspired mixed-use complex, to Denver

Populus in Denver Colorado

Studio Gang will bring Populus, an aspen tree-inspired mixed-use complex, to Denver

Studio Gang has revealed its latest project, a 13-story, mixed-use tower slated to rise on a triangular lot in downtown Denver.

Populus, the firm’s first project in Colorado, will bring 40 “micro” apartments, 250 hotel rooms, and event spaces to city’s Civic Center neighborhood and next to its central park.

Rather than pull from the typical examples of prow-like or Flatiron typologies for the project, Studio Gang heavily modeled the structure after Colorado’s aspen trees (pulling the name from its scientific classification, Populus tremuloides, not the stadium designers) and the project wears the influences on its sleeve. The facade, arranged in columns of white “tree trunks,” will be pocked with eye-shaped windows reminiscent of the distinctive black knots left behind when a branch is removed.

More than just an aesthetic choice, the bulging, curved window arches will double as passive sun shades and help water drain away from the windows and create natural channels for water to flow down the side of the building. Each type of window (double height and split in the mirror, singular, grouped, or extra-large) will correspond to a specific type of unit, with the largest reserved for retail at the ground floor. Inside the residential micro-units, those same windows will extrude inward and double as seating.

Read the rest of the Architect’s Newspaper article here.


RailSpur, in Seattle Washington

RailSpur Seattle

Defined by history. Designed for tomorrow.

Railspur - Seattle, Washington - Under Construction

After assembling three historic warehouse buildings in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, we began a two-year design and entitlement process to fully renovate the 130-year-old structures and develop the first micro-district in Seattle. We broke ground in 2020 on what is the largest LEED Platinum certified, NPS-approved historic preservation project in the country. This underscores our ability to revitalize an area with previously depressed land values without compromising the historic essence, environmental standards, or financial returns.

The second phase includes a dynamic residential project with highly efficient and fully furnished micro-apartments, ground floor retail, and bicycle amenities. The third will become a boutique hotel. It features a one-of-a-kind living wall stretching six stories, as well as a vibrant rooftop bar and restaurant with an expansive outdoor garden. Connected by intersecting alleys under a canopy of lights and art, this community galvanizing space will feature regular programming with concerts, farmers’ markets, retail events, pop-up beer gardens, and other activation efforts to drive people and vivacity to this distinctive urban piazza. 


Square Feet

Gross: Over 200,000 SF of historic adaptive re-use    

Office: 100,000 SF/Retail + F & B: 25,000 SF

Multifamily Apartments

26 efficient units

Lifestyle Boutique Hotel

120 keys        

419 Occidental - Office & Retail

When we first became involved with 419 Occidental, its obsolete infrastructure had pushed this forgotten treasure to the end of its life cycle. Modern updates were imperative. After a lengthy community outreach process and a delicate negotiation between historic preservationists and environmental regulators, a transformative renovation design was unanimously approved.

Upon completion, 419 Occidental will be a Class A+ office building with active ground floor retail fronting all four sides. LEED Platinum certification, as well as Federal and State historic preservation tax credits, will accompany modern structural reinforcements and seismic code compliance.  The wrap-around rooftop garden will offer unobstructed views of Puget Sound, the stadium district, and Seattle’s skyline.

Square Feet





Anticipated completion: Summer 2021

Rendering provided courtesy of Nephew

Rendering provided courtesy of Nephew

115 S. Jackson - Multifamily units

Ground floor retail blends seamlessly with 26 completely furnished multifamily units. Each ranges in size from 370 to 450 square feet, and incorporates loft space over a full kitchen. The efficient design and 16-foot ceilings make the apartments feel spacious, as do additional common areas, such as a signature roof deck, created exclusively for residents.

Square Feet



3 + basement with Bike Club


Anticipated completion: Fall 2021

100 S. King - Boutique Hotel

The final phase includes a 120-key boutique hotel. It features multiple event spaces and a rooftop bar and restaurant with a wrap-around garden offering unparalleled views of the city’s skyline. All inward facing rooms will look onto the largest open-air green wall in the city.

This highly anticipated project will be the first of its kind in the Seattle market, infusing energy into the neighborhood stitched together by a network of activated passages.

Square Feet



8 above ground + basement


Anticipated completion: Summer 2023

Rendering provided courtesy of Nephew


A historical image of the Seattle seafront and RailSpur site

A vintage overview highlights the RailSpur location. A new streetcar expansion project will  connect the historic district to Pike Place, and a cruise ship terminal is also planned along the waterfront.

a historical aerial photo of Pioneer Square
“The historic fabric of our cities and towns should be treasured. It tells us where we came from, giving us a sense of connection with the past. It adds architectural diversity to a community that cannot be replicated. And there is no more sustainable building practice than the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.” Tom McCargo President, Urban Villages
a historical photo of the RailSpur site

By creating a steel stair tower wrapped in glass outside one of the buildings, our design team paid homage to the original fire escapes that snaked up the building over a century ago.

Office - 419 Occidental

A vision for a common area at 419 Occidental.

an active railspur alleyway rendering

Entrances to the office building and many retailers will transform alleys into central passages.

an office rendering inside the RailSpur development

Another gathering place at 419 Occidental.

Residential - 115 Jackson

Shops and multifamily apartments open up to a convergence of alleyways. Year-round music, food, and art events will complement activities hosted by local retailers.

the Bike Club at RailSpur

The modern basement will house the Bike Club. This new concept will offer bike locker facilities for commuters, a weekly group ride, mechanics, and an artisan café run by a chef and sommelier.

a rendered look at the inside of a RailSpur residence

In these highly efficient loft spaces — from 370 to 450 SF — the bedroom floats over the kitchen.

Hotel - 100 S. King

A rendering of the ground floor of the 130-key boutique hotel, featuring an external stair tower on the right.

a hand drawn rendering of the RailSpur commonspace

The largest living green wall in the city will be six stories high, bringing nature to the interior of the hotel.

rooftop at RailSpur

The sky garden adjacent to the proposed penthouse study.

Larimer Square Is Trying to Lure Shoppers Away From Amazon With Unique Experiences

Larimer Square in Denver Colorado

Larimer Square Is Trying to Lure Shoppers Away From Amazon With Unique Experiences

Booze, trap music, and a menu written in a language patrons must decode are all things you'll find at the retail district's new pop-ups.

Like so many of history’s brilliant thinkers, Josh Sampson has a difficult time explaining the genesis of his genius. “I just wake up with these things,” says the owner of Good Baby Management, a Denver real estate and brand development company that counts the Big Wonderful, a pop-up beer garden and festival, among its concepts. One of his latest thunderbolts: Garage Sale, a Larimer Square vintage clothing and vinyl shop that also serves cocktails and tacos. “No one has done it here,” Sampson says, adding that LoDo’s Dairy Block is “mainly a food hall.” Hair-splitting aside, Garage Sale’s conceit is distinctive—though uniqueness itself is becoming commonplace on Larimer as the district looks to novel ideas to reverse its pandemic plunge.

After being saved from demolition in the 1960s by preservationist Dana Crawford, Larimer Square has become one of the most sought-after shopping locations in the city. COVID-19 and its social-distancing requirements, however, hurt brick-and-mortar retail across the country, including in Denver. Sales here dropped 7.9 percent from July 2019 to July 2020, but restaurants (down 43.2 percent) and clothing stores (26.4 percent), Larimer Square’s lifeblood, were wounded more than other sectors. Grace Buttorff, owner of the Hailee Grace boutique on Larimer, says sales plummeted 75 percent in April. Urban Villages, the district’s property manager, restructured leases, according to Kyle Mason, director of property management. But by October, eight of Larimer’s tenants had left the square (only two departed due to the coronavirus, according to Urban Villages). Meanwhile, nonstore retail in Denver—mostly e-commerce—more than doubled over the same time period.

Read more from 5280 here.