The Trouble with Mid-rises

Most of the urban design work we do, if it involves “towers” at all, is in the mid-rise category – either because of FAA air space height regulations (Boston), the market (Hartford and Worcester), and/or context (Providence). This project, 1401 Lawrence in Denver by the Beck Group (and published in the Architects’ Newspaper), isn’t bad – and partly because it wears it’s sources mostly on its sleeve. It includes the obligatory context-making podium/plinth (very Allied Works), a tower above with objectified/delaminated façades (sampling the Times Building by Renzo Piano, but wish the window wall inside the reentrant corners was a little bit more different), and a vertical bookend to bring it all home (from the playbook of Lescaze and Howe’s PSFS Building in Philadelphia). The project also bears more than a little resemblance to Atlantic Wharf in Boston, designed by Robert Brown and team at CBT.