Green Workspace Sparks Creativity and Impacts Bottom Line

Aug. 10, 2009

4240 Architecture's new Denver studio thrives as a laboratory for creativity. “4240 is a trendsetter, just by moving its business into our otherwise forgotten neighborhood, it has made a difference,” says Tracy Weil, director of the River North Art District Neighborhood Association. As a pioneer of urban renewal in LoDo since the early 1980s, 4240 continues its legacy of stewardship by promoting the re-establishment of the RiNo neighborhood and stimulating its economy through the addition of their workforce. This fresh and contemporary transformation of the existing warehouse space shines as the first architectural firm in Denver to achieve LEED™ Gold Certification for Commercial Interiors. Its continued engagement in the River North Arts District of Denver has increased collaboration, sustainable education, and design ingenuity within the studio, the neighborhood, and the community, winning 4240 the “2009 Workspace Award” from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.

Natural light floods the open studio revealing expansive views, creating a healthy and enriching work environment, and maximizing productivity. Louis Bieker, associate principal of 4240, recently commented, “Our new studio gives me a creative spark and encourages me, through example, to explore ideas and have fun with the design process.” Employees can draw inspiration from the industrial remnants of existing foundry equipment which remain within the space and engage with modern materials and technologies. The firm’s collegial spirit creates a transparent educational environment within the studio and the neighborhood. Doors are regularly opened to the community, offering up the studio as a teaching facility, an art gallery, and a sustainability “demonstration center.” A monthly lecture series, titled “Cross Pollinate,” encourages educational outreach by inviting designers, historians, and scholars from many disciplines to present and share their creative ideas and processes.

These workplace influenced creative strategies and in-house programs have had an immediate impact on the firm’s bottom line. A handful of recent commissions have emerged as a direct result of locating within the neighborhood, touring potential clients through the workspace, and talking through the creative process fostered within the new studio. Projects ranging from mixed-use urban infill redevelopments to an eco-winery in southern France are the result of 4240’s commitment to a sustainable and healthy work environment.

 “A spirit of innovation seems to be imbedded in the daily operation of the entire workforce … great design inspires creativity and 4240 proves it,” comments client Mickey Zeppelin of Zeppelin Development Inc. 

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