Denver, CO

Under Construction

Urban Villages


135,000 sf / 13 stories
265 hotel rooms

Targeting LEED Gold

Opening itself to the city and the Rocky Mountains beyond, Populus is designed to become an energetic new social center in downtown Denver. Located on a prominent corner site, the building greets the neighborhood equally on all three sides, welcoming visitors and residents and connecting Denver’s civic, arts, and commercial districts.

Large openings activate the street level by inviting visitors and locals to enjoy the building’s public ground floor, which includes a lively restaurant and coffee shop.

The texture and rhythm of its sculptural façade is strongly tied to its hotel function. Each vertical scallop is the width of a guest room, and its distinctive windows change in size and shape in response to the character of the building’s public and private spaces.

At the building’s base, the windows are the scale of portals 30 feet in height, framing entrances and views into the lobby, restaurant, and amenity spaces. In the hotel rooms above, guests enjoy immersive views of the nearby State Capitol, Civic Center Park, and the mountains through windows that become occupiable, transforming into seating and bringing guests closer to the outdoors.

This unrolled elevation reveals the variety of window modules that work together to create Populus' iconic facade, from dramatic ground level arches to smaller openings that offer glimpses of the city.

The windows’ distinctive shape is informed by the growth process of aspen trees, an instantly recognizable symbol of Colorado.

Window "lids" provide shade to guests and channel rainwater off the façade.

The window shapes are informed by the characteristic patterns found on Aspen trees (Populus tremuloides). 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 to shade the interior, while also channeling rainwater.

Deepening the building’s commitment to sustainability, Populus promotes density downtown by activating the entirety of its compact, triangular footprint. The concrete structure minimizes cement by incorporating fly ash and forgoes any levels dedicated to parking—a first for a development downtown—encouraging visitors toward greener modes of transport. With a green roof providing an attractive habitat for local wildlife and insects, Populus aims to reconnect city dwellers with nature in the heart of Denver.

A roof terrace offers a place to socialize with extensive views at the building’s top. Above, a green roof planted with regional vegetation provides habitat for local wildlife and insects

Consultant Team

Studio NYL, structural engineer and façade consultant

Wildman Chalmers Design, interior design

Fowler Architecture & Interior Design, interior architect

Superbloom, landscape architect

Kimley-Horn, civil engineer

WSP, MEP engineer (in concept) and sustainability consultant

CMTA, MEP engineer

Arup, acoustic engineer

LS Group, lighting consultant

Lerch Bates, vertical transportation consultant

Advanced Consulting Engineers, code consultant

The Beck Group, general contractor

Pique Technologies, IT/AV design consultant

Next Step Design, food service consultant

The geometry of the building’s upper levels is carefully designed to respect the historic view sheds from the Colorado State Capitol in Civic Center Park.



Studio Gang Designs Vibrant New Social Center in Downtown Denver

Opening itself to the city and to the Rocky Mountains beyond, Populus greets the neighborhood equally on all three sides, welcoming visitors and residents and connecting Denver’s civic, arts, and commercial districts.


Colorado Real Estate Journal — "Populus: A New Hub for Social and Civic Life in Denver"

"At the intersection of Colfax Avenue, 14th Street and Court Place lies a triangular parcel that most pedestrians and motorists likely pass by without a glance. Though it may be inconspicuous today, the site’s unique location – across the street from the Denver City and County Building and Civic Center Park and blocks away from the Colorado Convention Center and 16th Street Mall – gives it enormous potential to become a new connective hub for downtown."