At Clutch, we’re dedicated to “creating the incredible,” and this year has been a testament to that. We bid 2018 adieu with residential and commercial projects that have bettered Colorado’s design landscape and given us a greater appreciation for our craft.
Here, we salute to this year’s victories, inside and outside the office, because as Coloradans we DO know how to get outside and play.
We knew this project provided an incredible opportunity when our client stated, “I’m not interested in designing just another building.” After several years of planning, designing and building, 50 Fifty set sail this winter. Located in the Denver Tech Center, the Class AAA, 12-story office tower offers 185,000 square feet of elegant design elements and world-class amenities. Our vision was to evoke the feeling of being on ship deck and looking down at the hull as it cuts through the water.
Wild Blue Yonder
As a team that thoroughly enjoys a pint or two from time to time, designing and executing Castle Rock’s newest brewery was especially rewarding. Its elevated-yet-comfortable farmhouse-inspired interiors were designed to encourage community gathering for a busy corner on Main St.
Kristen Tonsanger, Head of Interior Design
Kristen crossed some grueling mountain bike races off her bucket list this year. She was the third female finisher in the Colorado Trail Race, a 545-mile and 84,000-foot gain trek that she completed in eight days. She also tackled the 100-mile Bailey HUNDO course and took home second place in her age bracket.
Robin Ault, Director of Design
2018 took Robin around the world. He rang in the new year in Rome, hiked the Na Pali coast of Kauai with his wife and daughters, listened to the Boston Pops Orchestra on Nantucket Island, and skied 40,867 vertical feet in one day at Beaver Creek.
Mark Bourne, Principal/Architect
In addition to bringing the 50Fifty project to completion, Mark’s highlights include celebrating the birth of his second daughter, Calder Grace, and teaching her big sister, 4-year-old Hailey, how to ski.
Matt Robertson, President/Architect
Despite a hectic schedule, Matt found time to take 10 trips (mostly long weekends) this year, coinciding with 10 years of marriage to his wife. From jaunts to Mexico, Miami for the Ultra Music Festival and New York City for the AIA Conference with the Clutch team, Matt’s adventures were nothing compared to experiencing life through his two-year old’s eyes.
Christopher Campbell, Principal/Architect
Completing the Wild Blue Yonder Brewery project was among Chris’ top 2018 highlights, as was spending quality time with his coworkers in New York at the inspiring AIA Conference. On the homefront, he enjoyed watching his son start violin lessons and begin his journey to becoming the next Joshua Bell.
In the past five years, Denver’s dining scene has seen a rapid resurgence of an age-old concept: food and market halls. But these trendy hubs have yet to address the prevailing issues within the American agriculture industry—until now.
Enter our latest design project, Tribe Market, an urban marketplace that will put sustainable agriculture and holistic dining at the forefront. We are honored to be working with founder Todd Colehour, who is known for his popular Denver Highlands bars Williams & Graham and Occidental, to design a sprawling European-style market and high-end restaurant all under one roof.
The historic Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain, inspired the general concept and design of Tribe Market.
Each year, Colehour takes the Williams & Graham staff on a team trip to experience other cultures, unwind and regroup. While in Madrid a few years ago, they wandered into the Mercado de San Miguel—a historic market brimming with local produce, pastries, seafood, and freshly butchered cuts of meat, all within a beautifully designed space.
Colehour was so inspired he decided to launch this concept in Denver.
A high-end restaurant is slated to be situated at the heart of the design. Live trees and greenery will be added to bring the outdoors in.
Tribe Market will feature an upscale restaurant at the center of its design, with an open-air market circulating around it. Stalls will include a butcher, baker, root cellar, seafood monger and a pantry area, all with fresh recipe-driven ingredients harvested from local farms owned and operated by Colehour, as well as other regional growers.
For the design, our team at Clutch aims to echo Tribe Market’s holistic philosophy by mixing sustainable, organic materials with modern forms and urban-inspired style.
The market will include several seating areas where guests can enjoy coffee or lunch. High ceilings, open architecture and live plants will be implemented to make guests feel as if they’re wandering through an outdoor street market.
We are only in the beginning phases of this innovative project. Check back soon for updates on the design process, and follow us @clutchdesignstudio to watch the vision come to life.
Two miles off the coast of Sicily sits a small island in the Mediterranean that’s rich in Italian heritage. From turquoise waters and coastal cliffs to ancient history and architecture, the island of Favignana is home to few, but plays host to many, including the 2018 Young Architects Competition.
Titled “Art Prison,” the competition brief challenged participants to transform the Fortress of Santa Caterina, a long-abandoned prison atop the island’s peak, into a centerpiece of contemporary art.
Robin Ault, Clutch Design Studio’s Director of Design—architect and artist—has a deep appreciation for Italian culture thanks to his previous studies in Rome. He channeled this love into his competition entry, creating a wholly unique design defined by purpose and place.
Since the fortress itself had long been abandoned, Robin turned the ancient structure into its own art exhibit using a circular design that would give visitors 360° views of the old prison.
“The structure is hundreds of years old,” says Robin. “I wanted something to circulate the historic buildings without interacting with them too much.”
The design includes plans for a gallery, luxury hotel, restaurant, lounge, spa, pool, helicopter pad and all of the high-end luxuries demanded by the world’s most prestigious centers of art and culture.
Tourists and locals alike can walk around the ring and engage with the exhibit, hotel and conference center, all while taking in new perspectives of the existing fortress.
“I wanted a clean, minimalist design that preserved and heightened the historic quality of the fortress through 21st-century contrast.” By juxtaposing views of antiquity with those of contemporary, Ault was able to bring new life to the old prison.
When asked about the biggest challenges he faced during his design process, Robin replied that it was the atmospheric vacuum that architecture competitions create. “You don’t get to bounce your ideas off of people,” he says. “I like to talk with clients about everything from the program to the materials, and in a competitive environment, asking too many questions is a double-edged sword. Ask too few and the task at hand is unclear. Ask too many, and you’ll give away your direction.”
Despite many upsides—beautiful scenery, historic surroundings, different cultures and the like—working internationally has its challenges as well. “Most international projects use the metric system, for one,” says Robin, “and visualizing in millimeters and meters is different than feet and inches. It’s like a switch in your head that you have to turn on and off.”
The other big hurdle Robin faced? The language barrier. “No matter how good a translation is, there is usually something that gets lost. But I stand by the saying ‘Good design is good design;’ it’s a universal thing.”