Breaking New Ground

As designers, architects and planners, we believe we have a responsibility to create spaces and places that are mindful of their impact not just on the environment, but also on the people who use them. We want people to thrive. This philosophy is at the core of our design for Lakehouse, a new for-sale multifamily residential project that just broke ground last week in Block One of the St. Anthony’s Hospital redevelopment near Denver’s Sloans Lake. 

Lakehouse aims to be the first certified WELL multifamily residential building in the state. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been working closely with the folks at Delos and the International WELL Building Institute on a pilot program to apply their performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being.

Lakehouse is set to open in the fall of in 2019, and we cannot wait to see RNL’s master planning, urban design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and lighting design work come to life. 

Here are some of the coolest features of the project and how they align with the performance measurements outlined by the WELL standard.

Air – In-line filtration systems to filter outside air brought into units.

Water – In addition to ensuring the water meets the water quality thresholds of WELL (which Denver water does), we included bottle fill stations in key areas to encourage residents to use refillable bottles vs. single-use plastic bottles.

Nourishment – Our client is looking to partner with restaurant vendors who are aligned with the principles of healthy, local food. These restaurants could even potentially provide healthy food cooking classes to residents via the demonstration kitchen we’ve designed. Additionally, we are working with Agriburbia to install a managed rooftop vegetable garden on premises to provide residents with access to fresh, hyper-local produce.  We’ve even included a juice bar in the demonstration kitchen to allow residents access to health food options on a daily basis.

Light – The sun is the best source of circadian-friendly lighting and minimizes the energy use of electric lighting, so maximizing daylight is a win-win for mind, body and environment. Our lighting team conducted extensive daylight modeling to optimize natural light in the building. The result is ample daylight during the day and blackout shades in each unit for nighttime, aligning with our circadian rhythms.

Fitness – In addition to amenities such as 7,000 square foot wellness center, the overall design and layout of the building itself promotes an active lifestyle. An inviting three-story stair brings residents to the amenity level, promoting the use of stairs vs. the elevator; the fitness center is en route to the units; and let’s not forget that one of Denver’s best jogging paths (Sloans Lake) is right at the doorstep.

Comfort – In addition to meeting all accessibility requirements, we’ve actually exceeded code requirements for sound separation between units (no one likes hearing their neighbors), and provided additional controls in the unit to help keep people comfortable.

Mind –  The interior design team applied the principles of biophilia to the project, incorporating natural materials and patterns. A porcelain tile that looks like wood surrounds the pool area and reclaimed, naturally finished wood lines lobby walls. Even the form of the 12-story tower is meant to evoke water flowing over stone.  

Health and wellness awareness – Beyond supporting an active Colorado lifestyle through the amenities and location, a guidebook on the WELL Building Standard and the relevant features in the building and units will be provided to each resident, a library of health and wellness material will be set up, and discussions are taking place about diving deeper into helping residents with personal health tracking and monitoring. 

While this particular building is designed to provide the ultimate in comfort and amenities, our feeling at RNL is that occupant wellbeing is something all projects can achieve. Whether that’s a commercial office building, a transportation and maintenance facility, or a home, all people deserve a place that helps them be their best physically and mentally.