Museum of Contemporary Art
1485 Delgany St.
With 20,000 square feet of exhibition and lecture spaces, a bookshop, a roof garden, and a cafe, there is much to do at the LEED Gold-certified Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). With a ballet by Karen Kilimnik, theater, a bubble garden for the kids, a teen arts group, and more, the MCA strictly hosts visiting exhibits so there’s always something different to see. The exterior is just as interesting as what happens inside—this building has an open design and has been dubbed the “museum without a door” because people enter through a corridor that becomes the transition between the street and the museum’s galleries.
1416 Platte St.
For a taste of the Colorado outdoors while still in the city, check out Denver’s flagship REI store and restaurant complex. The building itself is the renovated 1901 Denver Tramway Powerhouse Building, providing high arched ceilings and amazing natural light. Inside, visitors can get the traditional REI experience, including hiking a mountain bike trail, climbing a pinnacle, and experiencing a cold chamber used for testing and comparing recreational gear. This is the place for the quintessential outdoor enthusiast, and REI Denver uses 30 percent less energy than the Colorado energy codes require.
History Colorado Center
On a clear day, visitors to the History Colorado Center can see from Pike’s Peak all the way to Mount Evans. This LEED Gold-certified, 200,000-square-foot center is open, airy, and environmentally friendly with a 40-foot by 60-foot terrazzo tile map made out of recycled materials on the floor of the atrium. It’s best to check out the map from the four-story sunlit Anschutz Hamilton Hall, then access the digital time machine, and watch the map come to life. Discover Denver by listening to historic stories of Colorado’s past, or interact with dozens of hands-on, high-tech exhibits in media or artifact-rich galleries.
AIA Colorado Headquarters
303 East Ave.
The 4,290-square-foot AIA Colorado Headquarters opened in February 2012 and was designed for an amazing $42 per square foot. This is a 30 percent savings over the previous location thanks to architectural creativity and vendor donations and discounts. AIA’s offices, to which they are committed until at least 2021, are light, open, and airy and were built with local and sustainable materials. Offering an urban presence with public visibility, the new facility has more meeting and event space, as well as a gallery for showcasing members’ work.
DaVita Headquarters and Millennium Bridge
2000 16th St.
The Denver headquarters of the kidney-dialysis provider DaVita is a place where employees want to come to work every day. The 270,000 square foot, 14-story building, which is expecting LEED Gold certification, has a full-service dining area on the top floor with a 5,000-square-foot terrace. Designed to promote health and wellness, the building includes a gym, fresh air spaces with views of the Rocky Mountains, an herb garden and Zen rooms for meditation. Although the building is just for employees, it can be viewed from the Denver Millennium Bridge, which is an equally impressive architectural feat and a great place to go for a midday stroll.