Studio 610, Wetland Park for New Belgium Brewery

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Project Statement

The urban stretch of the Cache la Poudre that forms a meandering edge to the historic Old Town of the city of Fort Collins is a tremendous amenity to this community.  The natural area surrounding the river functions as flood protection zone and as recreational corridor to the cities residential community. The New Belgium Brewery sits just at the north edge of this river along Lincoln Ave. which bisects Old Towns most urban zone.  The focus of this design was to increase engagement with the river around the New Belgium property with the creation of a wetland park that will act as a draw to the community and serve as a backdrop to Brewery hosted concerts and events.  The park thickens the edge of this well-used stretch of the river and emphasizes the rhythms and movements of the daily lives of the community through multiple modes of travel.

Looking at historic maps of the city of Fort Collins reveals a growth pattern that radiates outward from a small district of streets that formed the original town square.  The New Belgium site sits dirtily across the river from this apex.  The proximity of the Brewery to this center emphasizes the importance of a well-planned travel network through this area.

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New Belgium Brewing engages in  sustainable business practices and development through the use of clean energy, reduced waste, and community outreach.  In the design of this site I wanted to incorporate their environmentally conscious agenda in a visible way but I also wanted to demonstrate how such an ethic can serve multiple functions, both biological and social.

For the part of the building that houses most of the employee offices I placed a south facing green house that will serve a duel function of bringing heat into the area in the winter and allow for the cultivation of herbs year round.  The greenhouse and the building will be joined by a number of vents that will can be opened to draw warm air into the interior space.  Large trees placed around the building will serve to cool these spaces during the summer months.

In addition to ecological function of returning lateral connectivity of the river during times of high flow I wanted to join the site back into the surrounding community.  A meandering wood path that travels through the site and reconnects to the bike path along the waters edge.  A more structured path, 20 ft. in width, bounds the perimeter of the wetland and accommodates multiple users moving at different paces.  This second path also features moments of reflection as it extends into a series of piers that provide views back onto the river.

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