Each year Colorado Preservation Inc identifies a number of interesting and threatened buildings across the state. This year, prominent on the list, was a collective entry - the older advertising signs along Denver's Colfax Avenue.
On the heels of a post about the amazing masonry of the Mullen Building, designed by Temple Hoyne Buell in 1933, I discovered an even more spectacular brick building that takes masonry construction and design to places I have never quite seen before.
The curving concrete forms are mollusk-like, carefully opening up at the entry and displaying its protective shell along the street. The building is tough and secure and in that defensiveness it continues that tradition of creating a series of forms that clearly demonstrate the security and safety of the vault contained within.
M. Gerwing Architects has been in existence for six years as of April 1st. No foolin'. In that time we have executed a number of interesting projects, ones that benefited from that remarkable alchemy of open-minded clients, intriguing sites and managed budgets.
(Photos of projects by Boulder architect M. Gerwing Architects) Of course, along the way, like most practices, we have seen a few projects that did not get built. This is sometimes due to the vagaries of the national economy, sometimes a change of mind on the client's part, but most often it is evidence of never really finding the proper alignment of a property owner's goals and their budget. Nine times out of ten we can identify this within the first week or so of a project, but at times it is more elusive and only reveals itself further down the line.
So while I am proud of our achievements over the last six years, it is difficult for me to simply shake off the vision of the projects that might have been.
It is however in the nature of architects to look to the future. We are charged with imagining a thing-yet-to-be, a vision of not just a building, but the lives lived within it, the human drama that our buildings set the scene, draw out the landscape, create the stage for the action to ensue.