Denver’s New Heights

After going through multiple design iterations over the past 20 years, 1144 Fifteenth broke ground in 2015 and was finally completed in March 2018, becoming the city’s first Class A office tower in more than three decades.

In the heart of Denver’s LoDo district, between Arapahoe and Lawrence streets, stands a 40-story high-rise two decades in the making. After going through multiple design iterations over the past 20 years, 1144 Fifteenth broke ground in 2015 and was finally completed in March 2018, becoming the city’s first Class A office tower in more than three decades. Developed by Hines and designed by Pickard Chilton, the building was inspired by the surrounding mountain views, incorporating outdoor elements into the design through the use of glass.


“We had been studying the site, and the final building came as a result of our desire to create something specific and special for the Denver region,” noted Tony Markese, principal at Pickard Chilton. “This is something developed on a more regional scale; it’s modern and forward looking, and abstract like the mountains.”

Including two halves married together, the asymmetrical tower features faceted forms and a different sculptural view from each angle. The glass allows the look of 1144 Fifteenth to change, based upon the amount of light that flows through it. The property is one of just two in the city topped by a crown instead of a typical flat roof.

While building, we were conscious of the edge condition within the city, not to build in a dense downtown area among other high rises. This tower is something you can see as you come from the outskirts of the city,” said Markese.

Neighboring the 45-story Four Seasons Denver, the $350 million building offers immediate access to light-rail and is within a 12-minute walk of Union Station. The tenant roster at 1144 Fifteenth already includes Gates Corp., law firm Greenberg Traurig, Optiv Security, Chipotle, Unicom Capital and WeWork.

Sustainable standout

The tower is LEED Gold Core and Shell certified and showcases an array of sustainable and smart features. Built with floor-to-ceiling glass, the curtain wall offers tenants outside views, but the light entering the building is filtered to minimize heat gains. The high-performance glass and sun shades also add to this, keeping the building cooler throughout the summer months. “The glass itself is built with argon gas, which is a cabin within two panels that helps increase insulation and the quality of the glass itself,” explained Michael Hensley, associate at Pickard Chilton and project manager of 1144 Fifteenth.

The building utilizes green roofs to reduce runoff and creates storm mitigation by capturing water and reusing it when possible. The property also features leak detectors throughout, along with a system lining the basement walls to detect water, helping management figure out where leaks may occur.

A maintenance machine acts as the tower’s cortex, analyzing several metrics. Tenants can plug into the machine and control their leased space, which includes access to the automatic shading feature. Public spaces and restrooms also include sensors, tracking movement in order to reduce energy usage. One of the more sophisticated elements of the property is the smart elevator system, Destination Dispatch. When a person selects a floor on the lobby’s elevator screen, the system optimizes the movement of elevator cars in order to maximize the amount of people moving around, thus reducing the energy load.

Mile-High, amenity-rich

Apart from its design, 1144 Fifteenth also boasts a prime amenity package, being the first Denver property to feature a living rooma hotel-inspired congregation area with couches, televisions and a fireplace lounge. The building also has three outdoor terraces, one on the 14th floor, just above the 13-story garage, and two on the top level. The second floor includes a 5,000-square-foot fitness center and bike room, while the parking garage offers auto detailing services.

“Through the design, we brainstormed ideas as to what would be important to include,” said Chris Crawford, director at Hines. “We knew we wanted outdoor space and something above and beyond a gym. The living room came to us through a handful of discussions. We started putting these ideas to paper, and it morphed over time to what it is now.”

Images courtesy of Hines and Pickard Chilton

You’ll find more on this topic in the CPE-MHN Mid-Year Update 2018.