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Denver?

RAArch

after spending most of my time between boston, LA and SF there is a very likely possibility that my wife and i will end up in denver for the long haul.
i am, to say the least, very naive when it comes to the architecture culture in CO. what are the firms are designing/building good work? what is the job market like?

we're thinking of either denver or boulder, possibly co. springs, i would appreciate any insight on the arch culture, good firms, etc.

thanks.

 
Jul 24, 07 4:56 pm
vado retro

check out the colorado aia website. many architects are listed on there and they have a jobboard.

Jul 24, 07 4:57 pm  · 
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rfuller

Currently I'm torn between Dallas and Denver. I don't have much to offer, but I'm anxious to see some of the replies.

Jul 24, 07 4:58 pm  · 
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RAArch

yeah vado, i certainly plan on making good use of the aia, just wanted to hear the insider voice, what's it like to be working there, that kind of info...the things i list can't provide.

Jul 24, 07 5:03 pm  · 
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vado retro

well they got a jaggedy new museum.

Jul 24, 07 5:11 pm  · 
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rfuller

haha. my wife and i drove by it a few months ago. all she could say was, "Wow. That building looks really pokey."

Jul 24, 07 5:20 pm  · 
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chupacabra

Dallas and torn do not compute...anywhere is better than Dallas.

Jul 24, 07 5:30 pm  · 
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rfuller

I agree with you, except I have lots of family and friends and connections in Dallas. Let me rephrase that statement above. I want to move to Denver, but my good judgment says move to Dallas.

Jul 24, 07 5:36 pm  · 
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Sarah Hamilton

Hey! Whats wrong with Dallas?

Jul 24, 07 5:36 pm  · 
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RAArch

lets try to stay on topic please...lets talk denver

Jul 24, 07 5:38 pm  · 
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w3

Avoid Colorado Springs unless you have a very specific reason to be there. This probably will describe the best of what is going on there - and I will say there is a small contingent of people who "want" to do some cool stuff. However, architecturally speaking I think you would be very frustrated - it's a very very conservative place overall and that infiltrates the culture and progression throughout the city. Most of the architectural market is for typical suburban style development - that market is an accurate depiction of the culture of the city.
to be fair though:
William McDonough is supposedly doing a new mixed use tower downtown but I couldn't find the project on their website.
Predock is doing a building downtown that is currently under construction, but that is the Colorado College - not the city. Colorado College is the only liberal node in the city - and overall a small one w/ respect to the greater community.
Denver has a lot more going on than the Springs for sure - hopefully others who are actually there can be more insightful than I can.

Jul 24, 07 5:39 pm  · 
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ryanj

Fort Collins is underrated, too (albeit on the small side)

Jul 24, 07 6:22 pm  · 
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w3
Agreed

F.C.'s downtown isn't bad. Small but cool. Not sure what the market is like there though.

Jul 24, 07 6:31 pm  · 
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ryanj

In terms of recent development, it is a mostly mixed-use (near old town, and southeast), healthcare and med-high density residential.

design-bid-build firms:

the architects studio
bha design
lddi-architects

design-build firm(s):

the neenan company
(Top Colorado Design Builder)


Culturally, its is a fairly progressive, energy-conscious college town (but then again, I came from Texas) with a fun entertainment district, pedestrian/bike-friendly street system, and a 10 minute drive to the foothills.

It lacks an established live music scene (I miss ATX), theatres and pro sports teams (Dallas Mavs!).


Jul 24, 07 6:55 pm  · 
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ryanj

Fort Collins, that is...

Jul 24, 07 6:56 pm  · 
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SPYDER01

glad to see this thread.. im currently in dallas, wanting to relocate to denver/boulder.. other than the architecture.. what about quality of life between dallas vs denver? i

Aug 22, 07 5:40 pm  · 
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SPYDER01

glad to see this thread.. im currently in dallas, wanting to relocate to denver/boulder.. other than the architecture.. what about quality of life between dallas vs denver? i

Aug 22, 07 5:40 pm  · 
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MADianito

denver has nicer landscapes than dallas i think....

Aug 22, 07 5:45 pm  · 
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ff33º

I grew up in Dallas, studied Architecture there abit, then 13 years ago I moved to Boulder. Its was a bit of a utopian shock at first ... So much spandex and natural beauty. Boulder and Denver seem to have a high percentage of small firms. It seems like the constructon and design economy here is good...I don;t know what to compare it to...but I can;t say that there is a wellspring of modernism or anything here. Denver seems to be getting hipper though,...and denser....What it doesn;t have for culture it makes up for in beauty and fun. Plus they say it is "becoming" a blue state...weird.

If you really wanted to rock this place you would start up a Modern PreFAB design boutique firm somewhere in the rockies....we need one bad...mainly so I can work there,haha.

Or also, if you are more into big , dumb ass Mountain Style McMansions...you will have plenty of work as well..


As for Dallas, I don;t know...seems like it is more mature , culturally speaking and perhaps a bit more Architecturally grounded. Aside from the racist stench in the air, it has potential as a urban evolution,...I say look at living in Ft. Worth before you live in Dallas, I think.

Just some thoughts


Aug 23, 07 2:45 pm  · 
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trace™

There are firms doing prefab modern stuff in Denver

Aug 23, 07 6:56 pm  · 
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I liked Denver and Boulder ten years ago,
A friend recently lived in Denver for a year and did't think too much of it..
It may have been the winters?
He did enthuse about the miles of bike trails and the outdoor lifestyle...
There was (i looked but couldn't find a link) a Cnn news "web article" about the urban trails of Denver being top class!

Aug 23, 07 8:32 pm  · 
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SPYDER01

Moving to the area this summer, can anyone familiar with the area please update this thread.. thx

May 13, 09 3:10 pm  · 
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trace™

I like Denver. Let me know when you come to town and we'll grab a beer.

May 13, 09 5:24 pm  · 
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SPYDER01

How are the job opportunities there now? I don't have a job lined up yet, will be living off some savings until i get something.

May 13, 09 5:33 pm  · 
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SPYDER01

beer sounds great! Does Colorado not brew a lot of their own beer?

May 13, 09 5:35 pm  · 
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solidsnake

Colorado suppossedly has the highest amount of microbreweries in the nation...or so someone told me once.

As for work, Most of the arch force from what I've heard is struggling...furloughs, 36 hrs work weeks, etc, that is if you even have a job. Probably similar tothe rest of the country.

Not sure what you're looking for but some local firms to google that come to mind off the top of my head.

Bothwell Davis George
Kilpp
RNL Design
AR7
Semple Brown
4240
Fentress
Sprocket (design Build)
H+L
Tryba
Sink Combs


But yeah I would just look at the local aia job board

May 13, 09 6:57 pm  · 
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trace™

Economy sucks in Denver, just like everywhere. BUT, it did not hit as hard here and there are still neighborhoods going up in value - there wasn't a big bubble, so things didn't plummet, they just kinda went stagnant.

As for jobs, I am sure you'll find it isn't good here, just like everywhere else.

May 14, 09 8:51 am  · 
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renmonk

I live in Denver, grew up in Golden, currently work in and architecture firm in Golden (Golden is a suburb west of Denver, used to be a separate city).

Denver is great...if you live there. The metro area is huge and as sprawl-y as it gets, and there are miles and miles of faceless places like Arvada, Westminster, Littleton, Highlands Ranch etc etc. Forgive me if you live there but I spent most of my life in the suburbs of Denver and didn't think too much of the city until I moved downtown.

It's true what people say about Colorado being an active state...lots of people I know go skiing every weekend in the winter and hiking/rock climbing/mountain biking in the summer. That being said, I think the cultural offerings of the city are less than what you might expect from an urban area of this size...maybe because people are too busy climbing mountains to go to the museum. There ARE tons of tiny breweries, though (Great Divide brewery is one of my favorites) and if you look for it there's plenty of art and culture too. New York City it is not, however.

Urban neighborhoods like Wash Park and Capitol Hill are quite nice, not too expensive, and close to things. Public transportation sucks, but hey it's a Western city and we love our cars. They're expanding the light rail system, but it's not going to be anytime soon. Denver is not a city you can comfortably live in without a car (IMO), but it does have some nice bike paths and lots of parks. You will probably have to drive to the park, though.

I think the Denver market is pretty saturated with architecture firms, so especially now that the economy is down the competition for work is intense. I'm sure it's like that everywhere, and maybe it's worse in places where the housing bubble was bigger, but my firm is the only one I've heard of that hasn't laid anyone off (fingers crossed).

I would NOT move to colo springs. This might just be my opinion, but that place kind of scares me. The birthplace of Focus on the Family, Ted Haggart, lots of McMansions and soccer moms and military dudes running around. I like Boulder, but it's very expensive and there are lots of drunken CU frat boys running around. On the other hand, it's beautiful and has a lot of alternative/yoga/natural healing type establishments if that's what you're into.

RNL, pretty corporate, large
SempleBrown
AndersonMasonDale
AR7
Tryba
4240 (laid off a ton of people last year, don't know how they're doing)
Andrews & Anderson, arch and hist. preservation


trace, you have your own business, right? Mind me asking what it's called? just curious since we seem to be in the same place.

May 15, 09 4:18 pm  · 
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