For the Greater Green: A public works campus in the Mile High City raises the bar for civic design with a series of distinctive buildings.
Doing something different with a generally lackluster building type was exactly what Tom Wuertz and Dick Shiffer, design principal and senior principal at RNL, respectively, had in mind. "We wanted the architecture to scream sustainability," Wuertz quipped during a recent tour. So, to make the best use of their prominent, highway-side site, RNL topped the 29,000-square-foot operations center with a sawtooth roof you'd be hard pressed to miss while driving down the interstate. Panes of translucent polycarbonate on the roof's north-facing sides provide ample interior daylight, while the south-facing slopes of each "tooth" accommodate photovoltaic (PV) panels. This innovative thinking helped the team win the commission in a competition hosted by Denver's city government.