RedLine Contemporary Art Center
2350 Arapahoe Street
REDLINE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER: REVITALIZING THE FIVE POINTS NEIGHBORHOOD THROUGH THE ARTS
How do you think the architectural design of a community arts center impacts what happens inside the building?
The RedLine Arts Building contributes to the revitalization of a declining warehouse district immediately north of the Downtown City Center. The building encourages art and creative endeavors and boasts a community service-centered mission. It offers a contemporary architectural appearance that provides the neighborhood with a pleasing new look that reimagines the past industrial vernacular. RedLine was purposely built in the Five Points neighborhood in order to help revitalize the neighborhood by fostering services for the immediate community and counteracting past neglect and displacement of the area’s residents.
The building utilizes current materials including aluminum frames, opaque and tinted glass, and wall panels, all in addition to contemporary paint colors that provide aesthetic in line with today’s styles. The raised patio enclosure is done with square metal mesh and narrow steel tube columns, which gives it an industrial and modern appearance. The wide concrete stairs within the enclosure emphasize the building’s inviting entrance.
The building faces 24th Street, but is set back, and is flush with the sidewalk edge on Arapahoe Street. The east half of the 24th Street lot in front of the building is paved parking with three former building overhead doors facing the lot, while the west side of the lot has a fence enclosed raised patio. The building façade has been reworked with a new wall and three enlarged one-and-a-half story-high openings with aluminum storefront infill.
The Arapahoe Street building wall has two projected narrow wall panels and a wide full height painted mural to provide visual relief to the otherwise former block wall, which is now repainted. The rear and east side of the building retains the former walls, complete with new paint to refresh the elevation (Sanders, 2017).
Semple Brown Design, the architect for the 2008 redesign, has been practicing in Denver since 1982, and Bryan Schmidt served as the RedLine Arts Building principal. The firm does mixed-use, cultural, hospitality, workplace, restaurant, historic, educational, recreational and residential projects. They were the American Institute of Architects Colorado firm of the year in 2005, and the Denver firm of the year in 2002. Their work has been acknowledged with 103 design awards and seven firm awards (Semple Brown Design).
RedLine is a nonprofit contemporary arts center. The building fosters education and engagement between artists and the community to create positive social change. RedLine was founded in 2008 by artist and philanthropist Laura Merage, and was originally created to support local emerging artists and provide opportunities for local residents (Redline Contemporary Arts Center).
Sanders, T. Personal Visit, 2017.
Semple Brown Design. Retrieved from http://semplebrown.com/.
Redline Contemporary Arts Center. Retrieved from https://www.redlineart.org/.