architecture - engineering - construction

Tallest Residential Tower in Denver Nestles Into Confluence Park

  Subscribe to FREE newsletter  Mar 29, 2018

Sitting on a tightly zoned piece of land between a river and a creek is a new ultra-luxury high-rise residential tower that soars 375 feet into the skies of Denver, Colorado. The Confluence Tower, named after Confluence Park where it resides, was completed in late summer of 2017. Attached to the base of the 35-story tower, is a 4-story building with residences connected to a 6-story structure with more apartments. Each of these buildings utilizes various building materials like glass and masonry but features metal panels from Morin.

The tower’s historical location has many advantages. It is right in the middle of Confluence Park which is filled with bike trails and pedestrian paths, trees and grassy areas. As the tallest residential building in Denver, it has some of best views of the mile-high city.

But such an ideal location does not come at a small price. There were many challenges that came with the 52,000-square-foot piece of land. The zoning lines were very restrictive - only 10,000 of those square feet could be used for the tower. Soon after ground was broken in 2014, the builders faced an unexpected challenge when they encountered coal tar. Also, being sandwiched between two rivers meant dealing with head pressures of groundwater on the foundation 3 levels underground.

Instead of looking at these limitations and restrictions negatively, the Confluence’s lead architect and founder of GDA Architects based out of Dallas, Charles Gromatzky, insists that they helped to inspire the building’s design.

“I think the actual lines of demarcation that cut across the site began to dictate the shape of the tower. And then when we saw the outboard diagrams we simply shaped some soft curves within those spaces to soften the tower shape and the tower itself began to resemble the beginning of a soft flower unfolding.”

To Gromatsky, the proximity to the flowing river dictated that the building could not be square and instead should mimic its curves.

“We knew that the building was going to stand out from the rest of the neighborhood by its sheer height,” says Gromatzky. “What we wanted to do was generate a shape to the building that began to move and have some motion as you went around it. It’s a really flowing shape. The building changes from every angle. It has a fluidity. It will never look the same from any area whatsoever.”

Another interesting feature of the building- the bridge between the low-rise and the mid-rise structure- came about because of the zoning laws protecting the view of the park from the street. The bridge is a signature piece of the structure now because it features a pool with an elegant glass wall that opens up to the park.

Over 5,000 square feet of Morin's F-12 panel was used for this project.The panels made of 18 gauge galvalume steel. They were installed vertically with a negative pressure clip design to withstand high wind loads. This design combined with the heavy duty panels is essential for a building 35 stories high in the mile-high city. There are two colors- bright silver and weathered zinc which appears blueish- arranged randomly on two faces of the tower to give the effect of falling water. To enhance this effect, programmable LED lights run along the edge of the building light up at night.

Sustainability was a huge factor for the architects. Morin panels are produced with sustainable metals and are LEED certified so they satisfied their commitment to acheive LEED Gold Certification.

Such a tall tower in the middle of a park might it seem obtrusive, but looking at the tower at sunset when locals are taking an evening stroll through the park and fishing in the river, it is anything but. It is stunning. The light reflects off the glass and the sleek metal panels really do resemble cascading water.

Gromatzky comments that the Confluence will be one of the nicest buildings GDA architects has ever done and that it will set high standards for multi-family structures in Colorado.

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