Xcel Energy Regional Headquarters Lobby | 1800 Larimer
Xcel Energy Lobby | 1800 Larimer
Whether you call it a jigsaw puzzle, modern art, or an unfinished Rubik’s Cube, there is nothing traditional about Xcel Energy’s regional headquarters. This 22-story office tower in downtown Denver at 18th & Larimer Streets was the first high-rise office building to be built in Denver’s Central Business District in more than 25 years. And even though passersby might first notice the odd collage of shapes, colors, and surfaces, the tenants appreciate the high 9’6” ceilings with nearly full height glass and large 24,500 square foot floor plates. This makes for a very attractive draw for Denver businesses.
Denver-based RNL architects loaded this modern office building with as much “eye candy” as a Hollywood premier. The building sets back from 18th Street to form a plaza on both 18th and Larimer Streets with landscape elements that flow through the tall, structurally-glazed lobby. RNL tapped W&W Glass to make a breathtaking, ultraclear entrance that lives up to the rest of the building.
The building’s sleek lobby facade consists of transparent, tempered glass fins that support 30-foot tall walls of frameless structural glass. The interior of the lobby is coated in textured tiles creating a space both sparse and warm. W&W Glass professionals selected Pilkington Optiwhite™ low-iron monolithic glass for the exterior vertical walls. The monolithic fin glass utilizes the same Optiwhite low-iron glass with Pilkington Planar™ 905 series fittings to support and secure the face glass. The installation of the structural glass lobby (as well as the other curtain wall systems) was done by Harmon, Inc.
There is a clever little trick at the lobby. In front of the exterior glass walls sit small beds of polished black rocks, each planted with a single pear tree. Then, aligned on the interior side of the glass, are similar beds of rocks and trees. The mirroring blends the seamless transition from inside to outside.
The building features a large landscaped roof garden that is accessed from the 2nd floor level along with a health club and other amenities. It sits atop the parking garage which accommodates 413 vehicles on both above and below grade levels. The building lobby includes a café with seating area, a major art wall, and a bank with dedicated parking located in the Level 1 garage.
It is sited particularly well, on a corner that needed a little lift. A good chunk of architecture at 18th and Larimer streets extends the shape of Denver’s core in just the right way, nudging it north and west, and inspiring more density in a direction where there is space and demand. It’s also a cutting-edge green building design, achieving LEED Platinum. From the space-age flat, white roof, linked to the building by inverted triangles, to the 17,000 square-foot, open-air garden terrace, the building is designed to save, conserve, and recycle.
Most people like to talk about the outside of the building because of its truly unique appearance. The structure — with giant multistory patches of reflective, dark glass applied randomly about its traditional glass and concrete bands — is intentionally jarring. If human beings are pre-programmed to love symmetry and order, then this building’s dedication is to syncopation, via the off-beat mix of styles at its base, body and roof; it can be visually disruptive to many. To this end, it is a building many either love or hate but one thing is certain… it makes a big contribution to marquee architecture in the ever-expanding metropolis of downtown Denver.
W&W Glass LLC is a family-owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.
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