In the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, students and faculty engage directly with our vibrant city, dynamic community, and magnificent landscape by working on real projects that make a real difference. Explore the ways research and creative projects at CAP ignite evolution that enriches places for people and the planet.
Location: Walsenburg, Huerfano County, Colorado
The client initially asked for assistance in creating a plaza suitable for multiple types of uses…from occasional festivals and musical performances to a regular Famer’s Market to be held weekly. Regardless of how it is to be used, the overall appearance was intended to act as a visual speed bump to attract the attention of motorists driving through town and encourage them to stop their cars and get out to investigate further. The result is an eclectic design that honors the mining traditions of the region, with a vocabulary derived from the familiar structures and tools of the industry.
In addition, a wind screen developed from the iconography of the Spanish Peaks doubles as the back drop to the bandstand and stage on the western end of the proposed park, which is located at 6th and Main Street in the heart of downtown Walsenburg. The final design was refined to require little if any maintenance, with a limited landscape palette requiring very water or pruning.
A team of students from the University Technical Assistance program at the CCCD/CU Denver met initially with the WDRC to program and set project objectives. Subsequent to that, several meetings were held to facilitate public engagement, starting with a roundtable discussion with LiveWell Huerfano County in advance of a series of meetings where an array of initial concepts was presented to the public for discussion and input. As the final design took shape, a reception was held with the city and county leadership in which student designers answered questions and guided the attendees through the proposal. Later that same day, at a well-attended public meeting, what would become the final concept was presented to an enthusiastic response. This culminated into a formal acceptance of the project by the City Council, an event which coincided with the revealing of the name for the park.
Field Supervisor: Jeffrey Wood
CCCD Team: Ben Wurzer Christopher Whitenhill, Daniel Navarro-Gomez, Alex Taft, Tim Camarillo, and Sam Starr
Local Participants: Gaye Davis, Karen Wilson, Cindy Campbell