With brick elements giving a nod to the architectural styles of Denver’s historic buildings, the metal panels featured on the exterior of the Mile-High City’s new District 2 Police Station point boldly toward the future. They establish the building as a modern facility built for the modern world.
Completed in October 2004, the police station was designed by Reseutek Design Group LLC of Denver. According to the architect, the building is intended to reflect new strategies of cooperation between the police force and the public in general.
“The design creates a facility that establishes a positive presence not only within the community it serves, but throughout Denver,” reads a statement about the project by Dennis Reseutek, lead architect. “By day it maintains a civic presence, while at night it transforms into a beacon of security.”
The building’s nighttime presence is established with the help of a monumental glass atrium at the front of the structure. At night, light floods the street through large glass windows.
Symbolism can also be found in the firm’s decision to cover portions of the exterior and interior with aluminum rainscreen cladding panels from Dri-Design of Holland, MI.
“The square and regimented panels symbolize the law, its structure and organization,” Reseutek wrote, adding that light from a skylight above washes over the metal wall panels in an ever-changing pattern, just as the community is ever-changing and complex in nature. “The result that is achieved is an interlace of the ever-changing pattern of the social community with the structure of the law.”
Reseutek said two primary considerations in the selection of the metal wall panels were sustainability and technical performance. “As part of the city’s program the design was required to employ energy efficient and sustainable design strategies, all to meet a LEED Silver certification level,” he noted. From a technical standpoint, he continued, “the design required a curtain wall and panel system of high performance and watertightness.” That requirement was satisfied through the specification of the Dri-Design system.
Dri-Design is available in a number of substrates and finishes but for the Denver Police Station project, Reseutek chose .125”-thick aluminum finished with a three-coat PDVF paint. The panels were installed by Powers Products Co. of Denver.
Steve Mauro, a design and sales consultant with Powers Products, said the project put his company’s crew to the test. “It was a challenging design,” he notes. “We utilized a combination of 4”- and 16”-high panels in a variety of custom lengths on the front elevation. The sides of the atrium and the large vertical fin out front utilized a 36” x 36” panel module that was carried throughout the interior.”
Whether or not most people pick up on the subtleties of why products were used or what their relationship to one another represents, those around the Police Station generally appreciate its design. “The most satisfying result is the response from both the neighborhood community and the police officers,” said Reseutek. “It’s been very positive.”
The Weitz Company of Denver was the project’s general contractor.