Client: Community College of Denver
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Completion date: 2013
OZ Architecture, Inc
BORA Architects, Portland, Oregon
Michele Gutlove, Boston, MA
In collaboration with Boora Architects this two-part 115,000 sf project combined the complex remodeling of a 1974-era masonry structure and a LEED Gold certified new building. In close collaboration with CCD Student Affairs and Education Provost staff and students, an extensive programming effort identified the need to support student interaction, complicated enrollment and testing processes, and a strong sense of welcome. Paid for primarily by student funds, the careful stewardship of that funding was a guiding principle in design and construction.
The primary goal for this commissioned artwork was to create key public spaces that are dynamic, inspiring, and importantly, reflective of the Community College of Denver institution.
The piece is integrated within atriums that are flooded by daylight. To capitalize on this daylight, uniquely-manufactured reflective glass elements are placed and combined to sculpt the light through reflection, refraction and shadow, in ever-changing ways.
Michele Gutlove’s statement description of the piece includes:
“ Although this sculpture was inspired by the form of neurons, the interplay of shape, color, and light suggests: galaxies, spores, the internet, anemones, capillaries, or a myriad of other possibilities sharing this universal organic organization. “
Playing the role that it does in the central gathering spaces of the Community College of Denver, the piece echoes both the diversity of the student population and the power of community at once.
The power of the piece “Connected Thoughts” lies in its complete integration with its environment. A fundamental approach to assure this integration results from the artist Michele Gutlove being commissioned before the completion of the design of the Community College of Denver’s atriums.
This allowed the architects to react and adjust the various aspects of the building enclosure to optimize both the day-lighting and artificial lighting of the piece.