Architect Brad Tomecek On His Go-To Places in Denver

TRAVEL + LIFESTYLE | BY | April 13, 2017

Brad Tomecek

Founder, Tomecek Studio Architecture

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n 2013, Brad Tomecek founded Denver’s Tomecek Studio Architecture with the goal of crafting spaces based on the sculpting of light, surface and material. His firm’s award-winning portfolio includes a range of commercial, residential and public spaces, from the 21,000-square-foot Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Rackhouse Pub and C Squared Ciders in Denver to the 450-square-foot Mt. Sanitas Tiny House in Boulder. Though his firm’s work is often labeled as contemporary or modern, Tomecek says his team creates situationally responsive solutions that respect each client’s needs and location. “Our projects are unique, each with different forces and personalities,” he says, “so I would hope our signature aesthetic is distinction.” On this trip through his favorite Denver neighborhoods, Tomecek highlights some of the city’s most inspiring architecture.

9 a.m. Start the day at the Wooden Spoon Cafe & Bakery with a latte and a blackberry-lemon scone or an egg sandwich on brioche.

10 a.m. Stop by the Tomecek Studio Architecture office to see a co-working space that was once an automotive-repair shop. On the way, enjoy the juxtaposition of old and new residences and storefronts along 32nd Avenue.

10:30 a.m. Walk to the Highland Bridge at 16th and Central streets, and cross to reach the REI flagship store, located in the 1901 Denver Tramway Powerhouse building. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this late-Victorian structure is an amazing example of early 20th-century American Industrial architecture. Take a minute to appreciate the Richardsonian Romanesque elements in the masonry details and windows.

11:30 a.m. Traverse the pedestrian bridge over the South Platte River, and take the Cherry Creek Regional Trail to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Designed by David Adjaye, the museum minimizes boundaries between interior and exterior spaces and uses hidden skylights to bring natural light inside.

12:30 p.m. Head to The Brown Palace Hotel for afternoon tea and a light lunch. The hotel exudes elegance with its Italian Renaissance style and palette of Colorado red granite, Arizona sandstone and onyx imported from Mexico.

2 p.m. Your next stop is the Clyfford Still Museum–a firm favorite. The upper-level galleries, where a skylit concrete ceiling lattice delicately illuminates the work, are our top places to spend time.

3 p.m. Stop by RedLine, a nonprofit art center showcasing work from artists in residence, on your way to the River North Art District–where Studio 2b‘s showroom, a renovated 1940s garage, is home to exquisite finds, from imported furniture to glass fireplaces.

5 p.m. Head to The Cooper Lounge at Union Station for drinks and stellar views. Try the Bernadette cocktail with chocolate truffles or the Coloradier cocktail with the Colorado Wagyu steak tartare.

6 p.m. End the day at Mercantile Dining & Provision. Order the Acquerello mushroom risotto or the butter-poached Colombia River sturgeon, and save room for the poached-pear mille-feuille or spiced Pavlova for dessert.