Apartment project’s ‘living structure’ merges architecture with greenery

Jerome Powell

A rendering of the building set to break ground at 3930 Blake St. in Denver. (Renderings courtesy of Wynne Yasmer Real Estate)

Denver has a lot of recently constructed apartment buildings, most of which look fairly similar.

But a new 16-story project about to break ground in RiNo is going to break the mold.

The building at 3930 Blake St., dubbed One River North, is set to feature a sort of haphazard gash on the structure’s northwest-facing facade filled with greenery.

Kevin Ratner

Kevin Ratner, co-founder of The Max Collaborative — one of four firms developing the project — said in a statement that the design is “influenced by Colorado’s legendary landforms” and “merges nature and architecture to inspire a well-balanced life.”

“Blurring the line between built and natural environments, the living structure features a carved core to resemble that of a slot canyon, comprising more than 13,000 square feet of open-air environments, undulating water elements and landscaping across four stories,” Ratner said. “Its glass façade is likewise ribbed with louvers that regulate sunlight and soften its visual presence, shaping a serene retreat in the sky.”

One River North is being developed by The Max Collaborative, Uplands Real Estate Partners, Wynne Yasmer Real Estate and Zakhem Real Estate Group.

The first two companies were formed by members of the founding families of Forest City Realty Trust, which was acquired by Brookfield Asset Management in 2018. Forest City led the redevelopment of the former Stapleton International Airport site in Denver.

Denver-based Wynne Yasmer, meanwhile, was founded in 2019 by Brian Wynne and K.C. Yasmer, who both previously worked for Forest City. And Zakhem Real Estate, also Denver-based, was the previous owner of the property, taking a minority stake as part of the 2019 sale to the current development team for $7.19 million.

“The living structure features a carved core to resemble that of a slot canyon,” according to its developers.

Chinese firm MAD Architects is the design architect for One River North. This is just the company’s second residential project in the United States. Davis Partnership Architects is the executive architect. Saunders Construction is the general contractor.

Wynne told BusinessDen that One River North is slated to have 187 units, and about 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The project will likely break ground in early August, Wynne said. The industrial structure that was formerly at the site has already been demolished.

The area around the 38th and Blake station is one of the city’s predominant redevelopment hotspots, and the building at 3930 won’t be the only big apartment complex under construction nearby. McWhinney broke ground on its 17-story, 348-unit FoundryLine project at 3750 Blake St. in May.

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