Denver Police District 4

Denver, Colorado

The design of many public buildings in cities has often been reduced to the functional service they provide. Rather than being celebrated as civic buildings that reflect the community service they offer, they become expressions of banal architecture that a sense of public life or the role they serve in cities. In many cases, this is true of police stations where the facilities are considered places to avoid unless an individual needs to report something or share information about a suspicious incident.

How can police stations embrace be designed to embrace their civic role in our communities and contribute to public life our or cities?

Conceived as a community space for the community, Denver’s District 4 police station seeks to change the perception of these public facilities and create a new type of civic building. Working with Handprint Architecture, the station redesign creates an outward-facing facility that celebrates its role as a community space where police officers can strengthen their relationship to the residents they serve. The station design integrates building uses and public space to promote transparency and provide multiple spaces for community uses and public gatherings.

The main entry includes a welcoming entry, community room and flexible plaza space that can adapt for daily use and larger community celebrations such as concerts, performances, and educational seminars for youth. A continuous sculpted garden and plaza wall is the main feature that shapes the public space. The wall serves as a reminder to the public of the many law enforcement officers have given their lives in the line of duty while also honoring those officers who, day and night, stand guard in our communities. Starting at the building, the sculptural wall weaves throughout the public spaces connecting the building to the plaza, garden, and around existing trees. The symbolically meaningful and playful element provides a visual and interactive opportunity for residents to connect with police officers.

Urban Design | Landscape Architecture

Handprint Architecture


3827 Lafayette St #135
Denver, Colorado 80205

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