BENEDICT PARK PLACE REDEVELOPMENT
Benedict Park Place is a 12.5 acre mixed-income; mixed-use community located 2 miles from the center of downtown Denver. This project is the first of five phases of a redevelopment of East Village, an apartment project constructed in the 1970’s whose monotonous buildings, parking lots and poorly organized open space did little to create a neighborhood or promote a sense of community. It was The Denver Housing Authority’s goal that the Benedict Park Place Master Plan and its first phase become a place that foster’s pride, celebrates diversity and creates a neighborhood. HPA accepted this challenge and lead the design effort by creating a master plan, floor plans, architecture, landscape and site design that would achieve this goal.
A fundamental organizing principle of the Master Plan called for the City’s street grid to be reestablished. This not only made the redevelopment more “walkable” it allowed the development program to be distributed to multiple buildings each with street frontage and each with courtyard entries facing the street. The space of these courtyards is more meaningful as a place for resident’s to meet, pick up their mail or wait for guests. It is the architecture and site planning that will foster a sense of place and breathes life into the community.
Within this development pattern HPA recommended that the initial phase of 124 mixed-income units be located at the center of the redevelopment. This site is adjacent to an existing residential tower and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio. With the addition of the new resident’s to the existing residential building and the cultural facility the effect was immediate and created the vibrant, diverse community which the Denver Housing Authority had envisioned.
A distinctive architectural character and landscape design for each building reinforces a personal sense of place and ownership and connects to the historic precedent of Denver’s other urban neighborhoods.
The program for the site’s common areas are maximized by remaining flexible and include a larger gathering space designed for families, children and adults as play space, picnics or shooting free throws. A small playground adjacent to the open space includes non-traditional play structures and the motor court has been designed to reduce conflicts with pedestrians and cars and to be an extension of the site’s courtyards and plazas.