Arch11 Receives AIA Colorado North and Western Mountain Region Awards • November 5th, 2015

Denver, Colo. – October 28, 2015 – Boulder/Denver architecture firm Arch11 received three awards from AIA Colorado at the recent annual AIA Practice and Design Conference in Keystone, Colo. Arch11 received both an AIA Colorado North honor award and an AIA Western Mountain Region honor award for its design collaboration with ZGF Architects on Pearl Izumi’s North American Corporate Headquarters in Louisville, Colo. The project had previously received a World Architecture News award for commercial design in April, as well as a recent Metal Roofing Award from the Metal Construction Association, publisher of Metal Architecture magazine. At the Keystone awards ceremony, Arch11 also received a citation from AIA’s Western Mountain Region chapter for its unbuilt design for park shade pavilions for Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood.

The design for Pearl Izumi’s North American headquarters in Louisville, a collaboration between Arch11 and ZGF Architects, was a demonstration in artfully integrating complex programmatic elements within a new 55,000-square-foot energy-efficient structure. Like its outdoor-loving, athletic customers, Pearl Izumi envisioned an equally high-performing work environment for its employees. The workspace for the AIA award-winning structure features open and transparent offices along with shared amenities that include a fitness room, living room, collaboration spaces, break areas, bike room, locker rooms, a protected courtyard, porches and an outdoor amphitheater.

Pearl Izumi wanted its new building to have “a connection to the outdoors and a conversation about being of the earth,” says Arch11 Principal E.J. Meade. With immediate access to recreation trails and dramatic views of the area’s famed Flatirons, the elongated floor plan is oriented outward so “wherever you are, you have a view to the landscape,” he adds. Paying homage to the site’s agrarian roots, the architects selected a minimal palette of natural weathering steel, concrete, glass, and recycled snow fence for cladding. As a result, the low-slung building appears to organically emerge from the ground plane and follow the gentle topography of the site.

The AIA Colorado jury praised the project as both “thoroughly conceived” and “strikingly elegant and yet provocatively strange in its long, low scissoring form.” They also appreciated how “the weathering steel and reclaimed wood exterior interlace seamlessly with the surrounding meadow landscape.”

Arch11’s award-winning pavilion designs for a park in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood draw inspiration from the agricultural heritage of the Colorado prairie. Taking cues from a landscape once dotted with utilitarian structures such as barns, sheds and silos, each shade pavilion is conceived as a similar, isolated element within the park. The positioning of each pavilion’s colorful and angled canopy will allow light to filter through the supporting structure and also create passive rainwater collection points. Each pavilion is designed to be site-specific while creating a family of related structures across the park landscape.

AIA jury members admired Arch11’s pavilion designs for their “exploration into a minimal lexicon of structural and perceptual operations that would succeed in changing the landscape if built.”

Arch11 Fall Internship Program • July 15th, 2015

Award winning firm with offices in Boulder and Denver, CO seeks highly motivated intern(s) to join our firm for the fall semester. Arch11 is a small practice with offices in Denver and Boulder that values collaboration and the ability to realize a strong idea. The studio seeks provocative, innovative solutions to a wide range of scales and building types.

We are looking for exceptional candidate(s) with strong design skills who are well organized, detail-oriented, and relentlessly critical. Applicants must possess articulate technical, graphic and oral communication skills, be self-motivated and play well with others. The office size demands that candidates must be as enthusiastic about the small everyday tasks as they would be about the more nuanced and challenging design duties that they will be assigned. The position is paid and 18-24 hours per week. Fluency in Revit, Adobe Creative Suite and Rhino with rendering skills are required, capability to build flawless models a plus.

Interns accepted into our program will be exposed to the workings of the office, engaged in a wide array of activities that support the operation of the firm ranging from new business development, design, construction documentation, construction administration and office administration as needed throughout the semester. It is highly preferable that interns be capable of working in either the Boulder or Denver office as required based on projects and work load of the firm. It is expected that intern(s) share their academic work and engage in a dialogue within office. Interns that are still enrolled in the university will have regular access to the three principals of the firm and staff for critique of their academic work and at least twice during the semester an office pinup of work for Arch11 studio review will be coordinated.

Application requirements for this internship program are a PDF organized as follows:
• Articulate, one page introduction letter addressing why you want to intern with Arch11 and how you see the experience benefiting you,
• Concise, well-organized resume,
• Portfolio of clear images showing evidence of production, design and graphic skills. Images should be annotated to accurately describe your role in the projects shown,

Application deadline is August 24, 2015 and shortlisted applicants will be notified for interviews by August 31, 2015 with the position starting on September 7, 2015 and going through the end of December 2015.

Submit completed applications to INTERNSHIP@ARCH11.COM no later than 6:00 PM on August 24, 2015.

Arch11 Designs “Next Generation” Appliance Showroom for Roth Living • June 18th, 2015

Denver, Colo. – June 18, 2015 – Just four-miles south of downtown Kansas City, Mo., in the historic Country Club Plaza, the new Arch11-designed 5,750-square-foot Roth Living showroom invites high-end kitchen appliance consumers to get comfortable with their selections before making an investment. As the official supplier of Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko and Best Hoods brands in 14 states, Roth has fine-tuned the process of exploring the design, performance and features of appliances. Now, the Denver-based company is rolling out a new “next generation” showroom, partnering with Denver and Boulder architecture firm Arch11 to create a new architecturally-driven, consumer-centric shopping experience.

To realize that elevated experience in the Kansas City marketplace, Roth turned to Arch11, which it saw as an ideal fit for the architecture firm’s combined deep portfolio of hip restaurant designs like OAK at Fourteenth, Humboldt and Ignite! and award-winning heirloom homes throughout Colorado.

“Our showroom space is an important element in sparking our customers’ imagination,” remarks Denise Manu, vice president of marketing for Roth Distributing. “Our goal for the showroom was to create an environment that integrated upscale modern kitchens that would speak to different personas,” she continues. “We also wanted to establish a common design language that would enhance the overall flow and provide a clear layout to guide consumers in their journey through the showroom.”

Known for its ability to creatively repurpose buildings, Arch11 skillfully reconfigured Roth’s 1930s all-concrete showroom space into a lively, loft-like environment. To better communicate the company’s vast product line and showcase different ways of living, Arch11 designed a series of kitchen vignettes with varying scale and appliance applications. With names like Urban Living, Home Chef, and Active Family, Roth hopes that consumers will identify with elements within the kitchen configurations. A linear display of appliances also allows customers to compare product features side by side.
In addition to the kitchens and appliance displays, Arch11 designed a wine bar, coffee bar and interactive gourmet demonstration kitchen that features a 21-foot-long, solid-surface island. The space can seat up to 20 people and can expand and contract with a retractable glass panel wall that provides clear views into the space and also serves to separate the demo kitchen from the adjacent showroom and glass-enclosed conference space.

To further help Roth customers feel at home, Arch11 helped the company launch digital technology into the showroom. “The new digital strategy called Muse Studio allows consumers to come in and look at every variation of an appliance on an iPad or mobile phone,” explains Manu. Arch11 first helped Roth customize the web-based program to interface with designers and then integrated the digital experience into the space. Upon entering the showroom, customers can start creating their project at the Muse Studio table and then visualize their ideas―full size―on a 16’ x 9’ video wall. “While it feels high-tech,” says Arch11 project designer Claire Jordan, “it’s balanced with the tactile experience of being able to see and touch the appliances within the kitchen vignettes.”

Arch11’s design for Roth Living’s Kansas City showroom optimizes customer experience while allowing product displays to take center stage for a refreshing – and appropriately consumer-oriented – departure from a typical appliance showroom.

Award-winning Boulder/Denver Architecture Firm Arch11 Hires Four • May 7th, 2015

Denver, Colorado – May 7, 2015 – Mat Brundage, Anna Huey, Brett Fast and Kate Swasey recently joined the offices of Boulder and Denver-based architecture firm Arch11, announced Arch11 Principal E.J. Meade. The four new staff members have the kind of diverse backgrounds that incorporate the combination of hands-on creativity, proven knowledge of sustainable practices, and ongoing education and leadership experience that the award-winning firm looks for in its designers.

Mat Brundage, a LEED Accredited Professional, has a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. An intern architect at Arch11 while he finished his degree, Brundage experienced a broad range of project responsibilities including developing presentation materials and Revit models. His current work includes residential site-planning, the remodel of the firm’s Boulder office and the design for a coffee shop within a historic building. Prior to receiving his architecture degree, he earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he spent a term at the University of New South Wales in Australia studying sustainable design.

A LEED Green Associate with dual Masters Degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver, Kate Swasey joined Arch11 from Denver-based Civitas, where she specialized in landscape architecture and urban design. Her extensive travel and international studies fueled Swasey’s ongoing interest in the intersection of buildings and landscapes. Her recent projects in Arch11’s Denver office include the design for a new home in Boulder. She is currently preparing for her LEED accredited professional (AP) designation and also enjoys fabricating jewelry in her metalsmith studio and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. She is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
Brett Fast received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas. Prior to joining Arch11, Fast worked as an intern at Landmark Architects in Hutchinson, Kan. where he was exposed to the design process and helped produce construction documents. His current work in Arch11’s Denver office includes modeling on-the-boards residential projects and designing and producing fabrication drawings for custom displays in the firm’s commercial projects. Outside of the office he enjoys graphic design and recently enrolled in an improv class, which he says “helps me think on my feet and find opportunities that may not be immediately recognizable.”

A recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver with a Masters of Architecture degree, Anna Huey participated in the university’s nationally recognized Design Build program where she designed and constructed an 800-square-foot home in Bluff, Utah for a Navajo couple. Her recent projects in Arch11’s Denver office include the design development of a “house as ecosystem” concept for a new home in Boulder and a remodel and addition to a Denver residence. She is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and is currently taking her Architecture Registration Exams. In her free time she enjoys building furniture, practicing yoga and spending time outdoors hiking and snowboarding.

“We are pleased to have these dynamic new additions to our staff,” says Meade. “Their varied backgrounds, including technical and graphic expertise, landscape design, hands-on building and commitment to sustainable practices make them all a good fit for our firm.”

Denver/Boulder Firm Arch11 Receives World Architecture News Prize • April 22nd, 2015

Denver, Colorado – April 22, 2015 – Boulder/Denver architecture firm Arch11 has won the prestigious international World Architecture News (WAN) Commercial Award for its design collaboration with Portland-based ZGF Architects on Pearl Izumi’s North American Corporate Headquarters in Louisville, Colo. For the jury, the design stood out in a category filled with a “huge range of fantastic projects,” including office, retail and hotel building types for its singular response to the surrounding rural landscape.

“It is an honor to win an award with this level of international competition,” says Arch11 principal E.J. Meade. “The Boulder area is at the forefront of the new paradigm for workplaces that are sensitive to the lifestyle of employees as well as the needs of the business. It was an exciting challenge to reinforce Pearl Izumi’s approach – including a meaningful connection with the natural environment on multiple levels – through the architecture of the work space itself.”

Like its outdoor-loving, athletic customers, Pearl Izumi envisioned an equally high-performing work environment for its employees to support its longtime goal of developing the world’s “foremost line of technical- performing and quality manufactured sports apparel.” The design of its North American headquarters, was a demonstration in artfully integrating complex programmatic elements within a new 54,000-square-foot energy-efficient structure, including open and transparent offices along with shared amenities that include a fitness room, a living room, collaboration spaces, break areas, bike room, locker rooms, a protected courtyard, porches and an outdoor amphitheater. By limiting vertical separation between spaces the design naturally encourages interdepartmental exchange.
With an emphasis on research and development, prototyping and testing, and committed to the ideal of exercising outdoors – 365 days a year in any condition – Pearl Izumi wanted its building to have “a connection to the outdoors and a conversation about being of the land, not just on it,” says Meade. “The building reconstructs the hillside on which it is sited. With immediate access to recreation trails and dramatic views of the area’s famed Flatiron rock formations, the elongated floor plan is oriented outward so “wherever you are, you have a view to the landscape,” explains Meade.

To pay homage to the site’s agrarian roots, the architects selected a minimal palette of natural weathering steel, concrete, glass and recycled snow fence for cladding, enhancing the low-slung building’s appearance of organically emerging from the ground plane. The international WAN jury praised the project’s “beautiful response to the landscape” and its elegant composition of “rusting cladding against the open fields and mountains.”

Arch11 Serves Up Stylish Approach to Denver’s Newest Whiskey Joint • March 2nd, 2015

Denver, Colorado – March 2, 2015 – Rowdy watering holes crowded Denver’s dusty streets before Prohibition’s lofty ideals took hold in 1916. Until the infamous ban on alcohol was repealed in 1933, legions of entrepreneurs illicitly made and sold homemade booze, smuggling whiskey across state lines. The new Whiskey Tango Foxtrot bar in Denver’s emerging Prospect Park neighborhood, designed by award-winning architecture firm Arch11, offers an ode to that era’s clandestine activities – with a decidedly modern twist for the area’s youthful demographic.
Known for its stylish approach to crafting the new-American drinking and dining experience, including such Denver/ Boulder standards as Jax, Lolas, Oak on Fourteenth, and the Bitter Bar, Arch11 most recently set the stage for the next classic neighborhood bar with the new Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
In an area near Coors Field where industrial loft conversions and high-density new-builds dominate, Arch11 was part of a collaborative team―assembled by the Tavern Hospitality Group―that envisioned “a timeless bar atmosphere that would be the social hub of the neighborhood,” explains Arch11 principal and lead architect on the project Ken Andrews. “This is the place where well made, old-school cocktails are served and people might linger at the bar for hours,” he adds.

If the old-school vibe conjures images of smoke-laden air, sticky vinyl seats and sagging ceiling tiles, think again. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’s earthy palette of concrete, steel, and wood―highlighted with warm washes of soft golden light―sets a sociable tone with a splash of sophistication. And, at 3,200 sq. ft., the 1930s former bag factory offers an intimate drinking and dining experience (and a spacious roof-top deck) that distinguishes it from the ever-popular expansive craft beer halls populating the city.

Up front, overlooking a street-side patio, a long curving peninsula bar welcomes patrons with its richly textured pyramidal concrete surface that modulates under the glow of LEDs concealed under the counter. “We purposely wanted people to sit and discover the details over time,” says Andrews. Above, an undulating stainless steel soffit with a dusky blue patina delineates the bar area and the dining area beyond. The soffit over the front bar does double duty as storage for 90 plus varieties of whiskey. The amber-hued bottles and the muscular Perlick stainless beer taps are the centerpieces of the back bar design.

For the booths and banquettes, covered in a vivid Wedgewood-blue fabric, Arch11 borrowed language from Mies van der Rohe’s iconic 1929 Barcelona chair by adding button tufting at the seat back cushions. Minimal, yet elegant details like this one elevate the atmosphere beyond the ordinary drinking establishment while introducing a subtle air of nostalgia. Banner Media conceived of the wall-applied photo murals of Denver in the 1930s and ‘40s which add to the narrative. Even the ubiquitous TVs fade into the background with their own graphic display of historic photos and menu items.
A floor-to-ceiling wall comprised of staggered wood slats (a riff on barrel staves) and Edison-style bulbs in exposed socket pendants provide a homey, vintage feel while screening the industrial stair to the upper level open-air bar. Reclaimed oak table tops, comfy stools and a second well-stocked bar welcome rooftop revelers. Strings of bistro lights, hung between steel columns, create a festive party atmosphere.

“My goal was to have an atmosphere that was unique, like Prospect Park, and that spoke to the history of the area. I think they did a great job fulfilling that vision,” says Tavern Hospitality Group owner and CEO Frank Schultz.

Additional new Denver restaurant projects coming from Arch11 in the near future will span the culinary globe, including a Nuevo Mexican taco bar in the space formerly occupied by D Bar and an Oyster/Seafood concept in one of Cherry Creek’s tony new developments. In between these cultured concepts are plans for a juice bar in a repurposed Boulder service station to complement the micro-juice trend.

Arch11 Studio Hiring • February 26th, 2015

Arch11 is seeking to add to our studio team in both the Denver and Boulder locations. We are looking for individuals with strong design skills and who are knowledgeable in building assembly. Ideal candidates are exceptionally organized, with three to five years experience in high-end residential and boutique commercial work. M.Arch or professional degree is required. You need to be flexible enough to negotiate between concept design, drawing production and some project management. You are articulate in speech and graphics. You have an understanding and love of materials and assemblies. You have a strong voice but play well with others.

Please submit your portfolio and cv in pdf form to


Modern History: The Story of Casper Hegner • July 1st, 2014

The Story of Casper Hegner

Corrections: Having been contacted by the Hegner Family, we are grateful for the opportunity to correct inconsistencies and inadequacies to the story posted in the original blog post. We are thankful to the Hegner Family for the use of the photos of the house and apologize for publishing family photos that were not vetted for publication. KH, 11/24/2014

In an era when much of the architecture we see is driven by the image, presented here is an artifact of originality in Denver. This is the story of Denver’s first modern house. Casper Hegner (1909-1991) is a hero of the modern era in Denver and his story is at once cautionary and revelatory.


Act 1

“One cannot remember the future.” John Hejduk, after reading Metamorphosis

Imagine: You are a recent architectural school graduate ready to make your mark in the city you have chosen to put down your roots.

“The site is a hill top, located at the intersection of two main avenues. The traffic, combined with the building restrictions, dictated the placing of the house far back on the lot. Brick and timber were selected as the cheapest most suitable local materials, the plan developed naturally from the site requirements and the budget; the largest and fewest rooms possible were designed to reduce both upkeep and housekeeping.

Our family is small and will require at most one servant, but provision is made for adding an additional bedroom and bath over the garage. We felt the plan should be kept long and narrow to ensure cross ventilation and maximum sunlight. The best exposure is southeast and corner windows were a natural result. Because of traffic dangers, as much ground area as possible was preserved by the erection of a retaining wall, thus eliminating useless slopes. More privacy and safety were secured by a deck on the second floor. It commands a view of the Rockies, and because of the desirability as an outdoor living room in this dry climate, the deck was made accessible to the hall, no private rooms being a thoroughfare to it. “ Casper Hegner, Architectural Record, April 1937

The house is simple in plan with elongated rooms filled with light. The structural framing allows light to flood in through corner ribbon windows. Simple rectilinear masses of natural stucco were set on a red brick base. There is some speculation that Hegner’s western roots and awareness of Frank Lloyd Wright led to the use of natural materials evolving from the site.

Relationship to site is an inversion of the typical image-oriented landscape of the day. The site perimeter is bounded by a landscape retaining wall leveling the site for use by the house. As a child, Hegner’s son remembers having to keep away from the formidable edge and five-foot drop to the sidewalk. This simple device gives the house a sense of grandeur and aloofness. The wall as perimeter, as an architectural device, gives strength at the sidewalk edge.

One is drawn, via a slot in the wall, up flights of stairs, turning at right angles and back again to center on the sculpted forms of the house. There is a clear sense of procession. The landscape rather than being tucked up close to the house to frame or soften the architecture is rather at the perimeter of the site atop the wall. With the mature landscape the house feels miles away from the adjacent busy street. As one ascends to the entry there is a distinct sense of retreat from the everyday world.

The sculpted recess of the entry porch receives visitors into a small entry hall with direct connection to the living room. The living room is a pleasantly scaled generous volume exuding purity and simplicity of line. The light coming through the ribbon windows at the corner provides contrast to the strong form of the room. Dappled light and view into the now mature landscaping give an illusion of being in an aerie at the top of the trees.

The current owners have renovated the interiors and found traces of the original green paint in the living room. The suspicion is that Hegner may have been attempting to subdue the strong Colorado sunlight prior to the shade of mature landscaping. Flush-mounted glass plate ceiling light fixtures are found through out the house and were made by a craftsman in the garage. Rough sheet metal boxes were lined with eight to ten, 25-watt bulbs. The etched glass cover plates were mounted directly to the ceiling. Hegner wanted no projecting impurities within the rectilinear volumes of the house.

This house is without doubt a modernist castle-on-the-hill, abutments and all. The residence looks large at only 2800 square feet and this was clearly the architect’s intent. The house as originally designed had two bedrooms. In the 50’s Hegner added two rooms to the north to accommodate his growing family.

The architectural issues of transparency and light, anchoring in the land, simplicity of form, and use of industrial product windows are hallmarks of the residence. It is ordered by visual image and procession, with a bit of posturing. As the current owner suggests: “Casper Hegner’s ego is hovering about somewhere…” This is the work of a 26-year-old architect setting out to claim the high ground in pursuit of becoming THE avant garde architect in Denver.


Act 2


The residence of Casper Hegner built in 1935 is as avant garde as anything one can find of that year. The Hegner Residence was published in Architectural Forum in April 1937. It was one of only five modernist residences presented out of more than 50 houses in that issue. The other modern houses in the article are by such architects as Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler.

Current architectural theorists ask once again for: “A re-conception of architecture as a moral undertaking based on the problems of the day…unsullied by nostalgia and traditional form falsely re-enlivened through picturesqueness debilitated by longing.” Stanley Tigerman
The Hegner House was well on the way toward this goal almost 80 years ago.

The house generated a good deal of controversy in its day. Many of the leaders of the Modern Movement visited the house while in Denver. Sigfried Giedion, author of the seminal work Space, Time and Architecture, visited and thought that it should be painted all white. In the late 1960’s the subsequent owner of the house would paint it all white.

Alvar Aalto, the renowned Finnish architect, toured the house as well. More traditional Denver architects who visited the house were aghast. In an interview Hegner said that when Jaques Benedict toured the house he feigned collapse on the stair and quoted him as saying: “ How could you?” Whether this was due to the minimalist chrome detailing or the lack of a landing is not known.

Lay people of the day were somewhat puzzled by this brash building. Contemporaries of Hegner insist that the house was “a subject of great merriment” for the general public. University Boulevard running east of the property was, in 1935, a simple two-lane road. There was not much else there; horse pastures to the east and only a 4-5 houses around at the beginning of the neighborhood. People would drive by and try to imagine “What was that man thinking?”

The nearby neighborhood is now going through the scrape-off / pop-top syndrome typical of many Denver neighborhoods. The house was in jeopardy of being irretrievably altered or destroyed just a few short years ago. It is still regarded with skepticism by those who do not appreciate this particular aesthetic.


Act 3

“It is the Acropolis that made a rebel of me. One clear image will stand in my mind forever: The Parthenon. Stark, stripped, economical, violent; a clamorous outcry against a landscape of grace and terror. All strength and purity.” Le Corbusier, Fourth meeting of the CIAM, 1933

Hegner was a structural authoritarian and a functionalist. He studied architecture at Princeton with Jean Labatut from 1926-1930. Labatut was one of a handful of ivy league professors who took up the torch of modernism educating the next generation. Hegner was later a friend of Eero Saarinen while at Yale sharing numerous discussions on theory and issues facing architecture of the era.

Influences also include study at the Ecoles des Beaux Arts, Fontainebleau in 1930. Hegner was likely to have seen Gropius’ Werkbund Exhibit and visited many modernist icons during his Grand Tour. The Paris Exhibit of the Bauhaus work was on display while he was at the Ecole. Gropius’ semi-detached faculty quarters at the Bauhaus Dessau were completed in 1925, Le Corbusier’s Villa La Roche Paris in 1925, and Villa Savoye under construction from 1929-31. No information is available about how Hegner spent his time that summer. The ideas planted by Labatut and a student of modern architecture would have been drawn to the modernist icons.

Modernism in Europe was a reaction to class order and structure after World War 1. It was an antidote to formal style and tradition. Europe was a continent attempting to lose its past.

“The Bauhaus was not an institution with a clear program – it was an idea, and Gropius formulated this idea with great precision. He said: Art and technology – the new unity.“ Mies van der Rohe, 1953

“The fact that it was an idea, I think, is the cause of the enormous influence the Bauhaus had on any progressive school around the globe. You cannot do that with organization, you cannot do that with propaganda. Only an idea spreads so far.” Sigfried Gideon

By contrast America had open spaces waiting to be filled with middle class dreams. A sentimental desire for a cozy craftsman bungalow was as adventurous as one could expect in the outlands of that era. We were a country trying to invent a past. American dreams were unable to embrace the idea of living in a laboratory; we did not want our houses mistaken for dental clinics. Hollywood may have had us yearning for the Art Moderne house of Carol Lombard and Clark Gable. (Frank Sinatra’s modern Palm Springs house was still decades away.) We wondered: “How can we play a love scene next to a fire that looks like it’s inside a machine?” The International Style contained images too stark and cold to be accepted wholeheartedly by a country invested in inventing itself.

The Hegner Residence seems driven by different aspirations than the production/manufactured-based housing of Europe. His house is grounded, anchored in its western setting. In contrast to that, the ribbon of window corner opens up the volume providing lightness and airiness. Decidedly these windows were not a characteristic of Denver’s typical post-Victorian architecture.

The Bauhaus “attempted to bridge the gulf between the world of spirit and the world of the everyday.”

Hegner was a person driven by idea and the quest for spirit in the everyday.

To have transplanted the ideas of the modern movement to Denver in 1935 took a great deal of courage.


A great epoch has begun.

There exists a new spirit.

There exists a mass of work conceived in the new spirit; it is to be met with particularly in industrial production.

Architecture is stifled by custom.

The “styles” are a lie.

Style is a unity of principle animating all the work of an epoch, the result of state of mind which has it’s own special character.

Our own epoch is determining, day by day, its own style!

Our eyes, unhappily, are unable to discern it.

Le Corbusier in Towards a New Architecture,1931


Act 4

Every Man for Himself and God Against All (with thanks to our friend Werner Herzog)

It’s interesting that Hegner began to abandon the purity of the modern as he got further into his career. Having been trained in modernism and the Beaux Arts set up an opposing aesthetic that remained unresolved. Part of the reason, was that he may have been “just trying to sell some houses” as reported during that time. Ultimately, his architectural practice in Denver suffered from the typical problems of economic downturn and also perhaps a clientele beginning to look to younger architects, many of them having previously worked for Hegner.

Denver’s desire to be more national and international in that era led to many projects being awarded to firms of national prominence. During this period he served as Chair of the City of Denver Planning and Zoning Commission and as President of the Colorado AIA.

His service in the Marines during World War 2, and later the Korean War, led Hegner late in his career to be appointed as an architect at the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. In the mid-60s, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him National Commissioner of Public Buildings for the General Services Administration. After some political maneuverings, he was back at the Veterans Administration as Chief of Design completing hospitals and care facilities across the country.

“The engineer and the architect have to work with other people’s money. They must consider their clients and, like politicians, cannot be too far ahead of the moment.”

Frederick Etchells, Introduction to Towards a New  Architecture, 1931

Hegner may have admitted that the decision to leave Denver was a “great sacrifice”. It is true to this man’s character that he would want his family to have the same start in life his father had given him. It’s a cautionary tale that the cultural and economic conditions of the time prevented Denver from having more projects from one of Denver’s first modernists.



Hegner’s iconic house stirs memories for me. The peculiar relationship between visual memory and primal modern forms has me recalling a modern house in my childhood neighborhood. The strong clean lines, raw aluminum, porthole windows and the certain aloofness are clear to me even now. Many have shared similar memories. Perhaps these minimalist forms call up vivid memories out of the visual cortex.  This should not surprise: great orators used memory palaces to keep thoughts ordered prior to the invention of written language. Recent research has discovered that memory is intimately tied with our awareness of space.

“Nothing truly innovative, nothing that has advanced art, business, design, or humanity, was ever created in the face of genuine certainty or perfect information. Because the only way to be certain before you begin is if the thing you seek to do has already been done.” Jonathan Fields

We get one chance to make artifacts for the future.

Good work should be honored and respected.

It is our good fortune that the owners of this house elected to restore it.

As an owner, builder or designer don’t we all want this of the projects we build?

One hundred years from today someone may say:

“Let’s save that old building from 2014, it has good bones.”

“If there weren’t so much style, maybe there would be time for more content.”

Tibor Kalman and Karrie Jacobs, The Edge of the Millennium, 1993


For the Arch11 Blog

Summer Solstice 2014

Revised: December 1, 2014

Kimble Hobbs


Thank you to:

Michael Paglia, Art and Architecture Critic and MAPL

John Woodward MD, “Defender of Modernism”

Don D. Etter, Denver Going Modern, 1977

Robert Alan Bowlby, Preservation Architect

Bill Bessesen, Landscape Architect

The Amys

The Denver Modern Architectural Preservation League, MAPL


Architecture and Fragrance • March 24th, 2014

What would Mies van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House smell like? How about Corbusier’s Villa Savoye?

If the work of Architects Bjarke Ingels or Richard Meier were a fragrance what would they smell like?

A recent exhibition at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco entitled “An Olfactory Archive: 1738-1969” explored these questions.

The exhibit brought together several Architects, Historians and Perfumers to “recreate” smells specific to particular eras and buildings in history. One of the most intriguing was by a New York Architect Jorge Otero-Pailos who created an “Olfactory Reproduction of the Phillip Johnson House.” Otero-Pailos created three scents which encapsulated an olfactory history of the house from its initial completion in 1949 smelling of new leather, wood lacquer, cement and fresh plaster to the late 1960’s when its porous ceiling had become impregnated with the smell of cigarettes, tobacco aged leather and burnt logs.

It’s a powerful idea that we can recreate a space through scent… or that the scent provides us with some missing dimension of experience that a photograph could never reproduce. Scent is one of the essential experiential senses and one that is not overtly designed for Architectural space.

Can you remember the smell of your first primary school… your grandparents’ house? What does the work of Arch11 smell like? How should it smell?

- Jeremy Ehly

Arch11 Restaurants in the Press • December 23rd, 2013

Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) December 17, 2013

Award-winning architecture firm Arch11 is riding what appears to be the new restaurant tsunami in the Denver/ Boulder area with four recently completed projects and six new ones on the boards. While the Colorado architecture firm has gained recognition for projects ranging from exceptional residences to institutional planning, mixed-use development, and product design, it is currently in high demand for its stylish approach to crafting the new-American dining experience. The firm’s restaurant design portfolio includes Denver and Boulder standards like “Jax,” “Lolas,” and the “Bitter Bar.”

Most recently, Arch11 has set the stage for Boulder’s award-winning “Oak at Fourteenth” where the design melds elements of Colorado’s rustic backdrop with Boulder’s hip and contemporary dining scene. The open kitchen design at “Oak” highlights the growing trend toward experiential dining where customers can see their food prepared. “More and more, you see how your food is put together, which impacts finish selections and kitchen efficiencies,” says Arch11 principal and founder E.J. Meade.

Capitalizing on the enormous popularity of craft brewing, the firm’s design for “Fate Brewing Company” in Boulder successfully repurposes an industrial space to fit the spirit of a boutique batch brewing outfit and restaurant. Meade notes that Fate is a large restaurant as trends go. “There is a lot of activity with young restaurateurs to move into smaller and tighter spaces, providing more intimate dining experiences and reducing initial start-up costs,” says Meade. “At 7,000 square feet, Fate bucks that trend.”

For “Ignite!” – in Denver’s Ballpark Neighborhood – Arch11 reimagined a historic pawn shop to create a modern urban gastro-pub with a rooftop bar and open street seating. “The building is in a historic district, and we basically rebuilt the entire inside of it while maintaining its 19th century charm,” says Arch11 partner, Ken Andrews, the project architect. That concept of breathing new life into existing structures is at the core of Arch11’s sustainability mission.

“Humboldt” in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood is Arch11’s newest restaurant design, inhabiting the space formerly occupied by the city’s beloved Strings restaurant. The menu features Northern California-inspired seafood cuisine with a nod to the burgeoning farm-to-table concept. Arch11’s interiors match the restaurant’s fresh approach with an open kitchen, warm dark woods, exposed steel and cozy, brightly upholstered seating areas.

Additional new restaurant projects coming from Arch11 will span the culinary globe, including a restaurant featuring low-country Southern fare near Coors Field and a Nuevo Mexican taco bar. In between these cultured concepts are plans for a juice bar to complement the micro-juice trend and another gastro pub, among others.

The firm’s approach to restaurant design – allowing the dining space to celebrate the food and the chefs who are creating it rather than inventing an overpowering atmosphere – provides a refreshing direction for chefs and restaurant groups hoping to capitalize on Denver and Boulder’s ever-maturing palate. Arch11 principals also speculate that Denver’s growing economy and housing market is spurring confidence among restaurant developers.

Press release on PRWeb

Site by Beyond 5280