Mile High United Way Presented Mayor’s Design Award
Mayor Hancock and Denver’s Community Planning and Development Department presented Mile High United Way with the 2014 Mayor’s Design Award “Distinctive Denver” for our new community hub, the Morgridge Center for Community Change. The Distinctive Denver category is for projects that – whether through ingenuity, whimsy or a focus on bringing people together – set themselves apart from similar structures, uses and building forms and feature innovative elements and community-building missions that embody the Denver spirit.
“This year’s winning projects are phenomenal examples of what makes Denver a vibrant city,” Mayor Michael Hancock said. “From homes to restaurants to community gathering places, this city is developing such unique places for the Denver community for years to come.”
Mile High United Way was among great company of the winning projects in other categories. View the slideshow of all the winning projects.
The Morgridge Center for Community Change truly was built with the community in mind, honoring the past and looking to the future.
The design team of PCL Construction and Davis Partnership Architects worked closely with Mile High United Way and community stakeholders – including the Landmark Preservation Commission, Arapahoe Square and Curtis Park Neighbors – to arrive at a design that feels aesthetically and historically connected to the neighborhood.
The building’s verticality and multi-dimensional façade intentionally represents the cadence that is prominent throughout the Curtis Park Neighborhood. It is comprised of a light masonry brick that is used to reflect the history of Denver, a pigmented zinc metal panel is also used to bring warmth and a contemporary feel to the building and the use of glazing is to promote transparency while giving United Way iconic elements such as the “Glass Boxes” that anchor the corners and the “Bay Windows” to create an architectural identity.
Having a small environmental footprint was another goal of the project. The building is highly sustainable and is pursuing LEED certification. It includes features such as energy efficient argon-filled glass windows, a roof designed to decrease urban heat island effect, plumbing fixtures that reduce water usage, water-efficient landscaping and more.
Everything in the building is mission-driven, including:
- CenturyLink’s Mile High United Way 2-1-1 Center, housing a free and confidential community referral service that connects callers with resources which provide food, shelter, rent assistance, clothing, child care options, legal assistance and other services to meet basic needs
- Bridging the Gap, Mile High United Way’s program helping young adults formerly in foster care address their needs related to education, employment, financial literacy, health and leadership development
- CoBank Leadership Center, 6,300 square feet of conference space for community collaboration, available for free for nonprofit use
- Comcast Digital Literacy Community Center, giving local citizens and nonprofit organizations access to state-of-the-art technology and free training opportunities
- Café United, a social change kitchen operated by Work Options for Women
- Offices for Goodwill Industries and the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative
We are honored to receive this award and are grateful to Davis Partnership Architects, PCL Construction as well as all the donors who contributed to help us create a beautiful space that will be a benefit to Denver and the surrounding communities for years to come.