A Denver Historical Landmark, the 20th Street Rec Center was originally built in 1908 as a public bath house and gymnasium and was enlarged in the 1920s. No major renovations had been performed since that time until OZ's involvement with the project. OZ Architecture evaluated the needs of the users, owners and neighbors to determine a program and final design for the renovation of this facility. Due to the limited budget, the designs were presented to the client as a "shopping list" with a consensus of several disparate groups determining the final design. The design includes a historical renovation of the exterior and interior, swimming pool upgrades, new locker rooms, free weight room, boxing ring and training area, cardio-vascular exercise area, aerobics area, fine arts room and administrative offices. To meet ADA code compliance, fire alarms, sprinklers, a second exit, an elevator, ramps, and new doors were also added. In addition to these improvements, the building received a grant from the Colorado Historical Society for recreating the original cornice. The building's mechanical system was also completely replaced adding ventilation, air conditioning and new plumbing throughout. The systems were carefully routed and coordinated to fit within the historic shell without disturbing the sensitive areas of the building.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver works to inspire and enable young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Their headquarters building is located in an old warehouse building. OZ did almost nothing to the exterior of the existing building, but completely gutted the interior to accommodate an entirely open office plan for the Club Headquarters. The interior design takes advantage of the inherent characteristics of the original industrial space including the barrel-vault roof and exposed HVAC. Only one position that of the Human Resources Director, required a closed office setting for confidential conversations. OZ?s response to this need was to create a somewhat ?playful? response of a ?house? within the open warehouse environment for the HR Director?s office. A later addition to the facility created a large training center for the Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Robert M. Shopneck Branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver opened in June of 2007. This new, 23,000 square foot club is located in Brighton, Colorado. The building contains a game room, a gymnasium, an arts and craft area, a computer lab and technology center, as well as a dining area and kitchen. In addition, the club houses a teen center, which is entered separately and gives the Shopneck Branch programmatic flexibility by providing different areas for club members of differing ages. In addition, the building is situated on a multi-acre site that provides large outdoor play areas.
The Brighton community, which was very active in helping the Boys and Girls Club raise money to build the new facility, has a rich agricultural history. This is reflected in the architecture of the building, which recalls agricultural buildings such as barns and silos.
The Darrent Williams Teen Center will be located at the Bronco Branch Boys and Girls Club in Montbello. There is a separate smaller building connected to the main club by a breezeway. That building contained locker rooms and pool equipment for the swimming pool that used to be at the site when the complex was a City of Denver Recreation Center. When the City built a new rec center a few years ago, the leased the facility to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver for $1 per year, and the Denver Broncos decided they wanted to be the sponsor for that club. The swimming pool was filled in so the pool building was available and the idea recently came about of making it into a teen center and honoring Darrent Williams. The breezeway will be enclosed as an entrance to both the main club and the teen center. The teen center will have a large recreation area and a separate learning center.
OZ was part of the team that designed the original downtown "Pearl Street" mall in the 1970s for the City of Boulder. The mall is considered one of the most successful, award-winning pedestrian malls in the U.S. As the 25th anniversary of the mall approached, OZ was retained to update the mall. The new plan included the addition of improved site lighting and signage features, identification pylons along Broadway and at the ends of the mall, the installation of a pop-jet fountain, the addition of a shaded structure for outdoor performances and informal dining, and two new focus areas - the Boulder County map and a sculpted water feature.
The Campus Center for Jewish Life at the University of Denver (DU) is located on the architecturally prominent campus. The client, Hillel of Colorado, together with the architect, developed a diverse and flexible program that puts the students' needs first. The program features an administrative wing, including a lobby, conference rooms, boardrooms, and offices. A lecture hall, library, lounge, and game room are to be utilized by students. The design utilizes contextual references to traditional surroundings and counters rich materiality with large areas of glass. The balance of classical symmetry with playful eclecticism resulted in a design that delights both the client and DU students.