englewood cultural arts center
type: performing arts complex invited competition
client: city of englewood
location: englewood, colorado, usa
note: aia award of merit
The design proposal for the new Englewood Cultural Arts Center (ECAC) was a response, not only to the multi-functional facilities program established by the Englewood Cultural Arts Commission, but also to ongoing efforts to re-establish an identity for the city of Englewood.
To have metro-wide, national and international impact the ECAC had to be highly visible and directly accessible. Its location on the west side of highway 285 will extend the Englewood City Center from Broadway on the east to the South Platte River on the west. A bridge across Santa Fe that links the new arts center with the City Center establishes a gateway, a marker along the highway that announces that you are in Englewood. In this location, the ECAC will be a “billboard for the arts”, exposing the arts to the largest possible audience on a daily basis.
The activities of the center have been made visible to the passer-by, and conversely, the dynamics of the surrounding environment are to be experienced from within the center. This is achieved through the design of a large transparent glass “lobby”. Travelers along the Santa Fe corridor will see the lights, colors and activities inside the center while visitors to the center, in turn, will be able to look out at, and feel the energy of the park, highway, railroad, river, etc. The design articulates the different functions and disciplines within the center and encourages interconnection via ramps, stairs, landings, escalators and other flex spaces between the different disciplines. These spaces are designed to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas and provide a forum for collaboration between the arts.
By connecting the City Center to the South Platte River Greenway and bike paths, the ECAC provides a catalyst for development and additional amenities. An “art park” along the river would provide sculpture gardens and performance areas, allowing the arts center to expand outdoors. Special cross disciplinary programming, festivals, and other recreational activities along the waterfront will further establish a vitality to the new arts center creating a regional destination like no other.
Project Team: Kerl Yoo, Arley Rinehart, Richard Henry, Mark Raeburn