Studio Gang Begins Construction of Populus, “America’s First Carbon-Positive Hotel” | News
Construction of the Populus Hotel in Denver, Colorado has begun. Designed by Studio Gang, the 13-story, 265-room hotel is described by the team as “the first carbon-positive hotel in the United States” and the first Studio Gang project to be built in Colorado.
According to the architects, the project’s distinctive facade was inspired by patterns found in the native Colorado aspen, Populus Tremuloides. The facade is defined by ‘covers’ extending over each window, which provide passive shading and drain rainwater from the windows.
The hotel’s design was first revealed on Archinect in February 2021 and received mostly skeptical responses from our readers.
The interior sees the windows change in size to reflect their public or private use, with windows up to 30 feet high at the base of the building to frame the lobby and amenity spaces. In hotel rooms, the base of the window becomes a seat and desk facing views of the city or mountains.
The ground floor will contain a lobby, cafe, and wine bar, while the second floor will contain flexible space for business meetings, coworking spaces, weddings and ceremonies, or pop events. The top floor will include a series of hospitality-style suites and a public rooftop with a garden terrace of regional vegetation.
The team says Populus will be the first carbon-positive hotel in the United States, aided by a series of onsite and offsite actions. The building’s embodied carbon footprint would be offset by planting trees equivalent to 5,000 acres of forest, removing the equivalent of 500,000 gallons of gas from the atmosphere.
The hotel will be built with low-carbon concrete mixes and recycled materials, and the use of finishes will be spared. The building, which is aiming for LEED Gold certification, will also be the first new hotel in Denver without on-site parking, encouraging the use of public transportation.
“Improving the resilience of our cities has never been more urgent – and that includes reducing carbon emissions as well as strengthening community ties,” Jeanne Gang said when the tower was announced to begin construction. “We designed Populus as a new destination in downtown Denver that combines these environmental and social ambitions. With its distinctive aspen windows, the building cultivates a bustling pedestrian scene in its neighborhood, while simultaneously connecting you with views of natural wonders beyond the city limits.
The project started in April 2022, with construction to be completed by the developer at the end of 2023 Urban villages. The hotel news comes a month after Studio Gang unveiled its first project in Canada, with a 45-story residential tower.