Arvada Chamber of Commerce
Office Renovation in historic home. Olde Town, Arvada Colorado. Completed in 2015.
Upon meeting the staff of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce at a young professionals networking meeting, I was asked to connect regarding an upcoming “re-do” of their offices. One fun aspect of this project was that the chamber offices share space with the Arvada Visitors Center. The building is an historic home in the heart of Olde Town Arvada. Little did we all know that this project was going to take off in a larger direction than we originally anticipated
An inviting, welcoming space for newcomers to learn about what Arvada has to offer! Kami & Jean, the president and executive director, were looking to increase foot traffic, display business brochures, and give visitors a first impression that would last. They wanted to provide a meeting space for business membership to use for presentations and gatherings, while keeping separate the private offices used by staff.
The structure was built in the late 1800’s and was later relocated to the site where it stands today. It is a beautiful historic home and fits the aesthetic of the neighboring business district. One thing was for certain, we wanted a modern look without sacrificing the history of the locale.
The welcome area was closed off and confusing to visitors as a partial wall stood between the entry and the reception desk. We knew this had to go if we were going to invite visitors in to stay a while. There was little to no display space for business brochures, and the finishes were beyond outdated.
The most challenging aspect of this renovation lied in furnishing the second-floor offices. The entire second floor ceiling is gabled, pitched to match the roofline. This means that along some walls the ceiling height is no more than a few feet from the floor. We had to get 4 desks in 3 of these converted offices
Not having strict parameters to design by, we took to the space as if there were no limits. In the initial design phase, we opened the walls to the reception area, encased the stairs to reduce noise from below, and blew our clients away at the presentation. The design was going to require approval from the board to implement on such a large scale. Kami & Jean were so excited that they asked for a special design presentation to the Board of Directors. (No pressure!) Upon the presentation we discovered that the board was just as excited as we were, so we could plan for implementation with the City of Arvada.
Space planning the offices came naturally as we knew to reserve the highest points of the room for headspace above desks. One of the desires was for all staff members to have the option of a height-adjustable desk, and to achieve this we had to design wisely.
The basement was the natural choice for the conference room, and though it was dark, we were able to increase the ceiling height and add more lighting. We wired the wall for a television mount, applied dry-
erase wallcovering to the walls for collaboration during meetings, and chose the long wall to display an old photographic mural of the well-known Arvada Flour Mill.
The juxtaposition of modern furnishings with historic photography (courtesy the Arvada Historic Society) made for a well-balanced, intriguing space where all business members, visitors, and friends alike are openly welcomed to Arvada