Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects
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One Tabor Center
1200 17th Street
Denver, Colorado 80202
Plaza Statistics: 20,000 gsf
Materials: Green and red granites; polished and thermal finishes
Type of facility: Mixed us complex with towers, retail arcade, hotel and public plaza
Status: Plaza completed 1985
One Tabor Center is a 408 feet Tall Tower and is 30 floors. The tower, itself has a floor area of 669,000 square feet.
Tabor Center is located at the intersections of Larimer Street and 17th Street. When developed in 1984, there was intended to be a "Two Tabor Center" on the opposite corner of the block (Seventeenth and Larimer Streets), a building mirroring One Tabor with a rounded facade facing its sister. This was never completed due to the economic conditions at the time.
The Plaza gently rises up to the entrance of Tabor Center entrance. The Plaza, as designed, had to accommodate a building entrance located in a semi-corner condition as well has having to address two street frontages and sidewalks. It was imperative, therefore, for the Plaza to highlight the diagonal approach to the building’s entrance as well as define the edges of the Plaza as they related to the orthogonal condition of the street grid in downtown Denver.
Given these site constraints, the Plaza’s choreography or design is defined by manipulations and rotations of the ground plan through different colored granites. The reddish granite follows the diagonal orientation leading up to the entrance and the second granite follows the orthogonal organization created by the sidewalks and street grid. The Plaza itself is populated with figural
elements that both define the perimeter of the Plaza as it confront s both Larimer Street and 17th Street. The sculptural elements or sentinel markers in, black granite create a pattern of shadows that further animate the ground of the Plaza. Circular columns of different sizes of a red polished granite site within planted flower beds and were intended draw emphasis to a water wall of black granite of a rough texture and finish. The sound of rushing water would have further enhanced the Plaza environment as well as having a cooling effect in the summer months.
The final design solution as built presents the ‘supposed’ water wall as a dry berm rising up to a higher level of the Plaza where granite benches are located.
The Plaza is abundantly rich in its materiality and textures softened by plantings and cast shadows. The Plaza has a tremendous draw as gathering place for the citizenry of Denver.