studio gang's 'populus' will express the texture of aspen trees in denver

studio gang partners with real estate firm urban villages in the design of ‘populus,’ a new and iconic landmark in denver.

the mixed-use project will introduce a vibrant new social center in downtown denver, opening itself up to both the city and to the rocky mountains beyond. its location along a prominent corner site informs the triangular, wedge-like volume which greets the neighborhood equally on all three sides. including both hotel and apartment units, ‘populus’ will welcome both visitors and residents, connecting denver’s civic, arts, and commercial districts.

designed by studio gang with urban villages, ‘populus’ is wrapped in a sculptural facade. the building will host a 250-key hotel, 40 micro-apartments, a public rooftop bar and viewing deck, event spaces, and an activated ground-level lobby framed by windows which rise up to a height of 30 feet. the textural and rhythmic façade is informed by the building’s function. each vertical scallop spans the width of a hotel room, while its windows change in size in response to public and private spaces. 

studio gang designs ‘populus’ with a distinctive facade that expresses the patterning found on colorado’s aspen trees. as the trees grow, they shed their lower branches, leaving behind dark, eye-shaped marks on the papery bark of their trunks. the windows are further detailed to perform efficiently in the denver climate. on the exterior, the ‘lids’ of each window stretch outward according to solar orientation to shade the interior, improving the building’s energy performance. they also neatly channel rainwater to keep the façade looking fresh over time.

Read more of the designboom article here.