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Urban Design Awards

The City of Fort Collins celebrates great places and people who design them. Join us in promoting awareness of urban design, and its importance for the quality of life in our community. Urban design ranges from a city or city subarea to a single outdoor space and considers the look and feel, as well as environmental, economic, and social consequences of design. It is not simply concerned with new development but also with the maintenance and enhancement of existing development. Come celebrate what’s been accomplished!.

These biennial awards were first given in the fall of 2006, again in 2008, and most recently in 2011. The selection process starts with a call for entries and ends with a jury (made up of local designers, city board members and city staff) selecting winners from the applications. The process culminates with an awards ceremony.

Announcing the 2013 winners

The City of Fort Collins proudly announces the winners for 2013’s Urban Design Awards. These awards celebrate the great spaces and places in Fort Collins. This year’s awards were given Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at the Midtown Arts Center, and stretch from the restoration of the Downtown Coca-Cola “ghost sign” to the busy intersection of College and Harmony. We also add two pioneers in preservation and restoration to our Urban Design Hall of Fame: Jim Reidhead and Dick Beardmore.

Check out the above videos of all the ceremonies. Eleven awards were given to recognize creative vision and achievement in the following five categories.

1. SLATERPAULL Architects’ design to restore the Avery Block (the stone lion building at the corner of Mountain and College Avenues) was a major, complex undertaking in 2012-2013. As one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the whole restoration team deserves many thanks for their efforts in perpetuating the vibrancy and historic beauty of downtown’s commercial core.

2. In 2010, Preview Architecture+Planning created a new destination and gathering place with its design for The Fort Collins Brewery. This design features semi-industrial materials to engage the community with an inviting entrance, patio, and garage doors that reveal the inner workings of the brewery.

3. When Carol Tunner (project manager) and Deborah Uhl (painting conservator) took on the restoration of Downtown’s Coca-Cola/Angell's Delicatessen “ghost sign” in 2010, they thought it was a straightforward project to restore a sign on the brick wall. Not so. Their work resulted in developing a nationally-significant, standard-setting approach to conservation of these historic paintings on brick buildings. Their groundbreaking work has already received a state and national award.

4. In 2010, Peterson Design transformed a plain concrete block back wall adjacent to Oak Street Plaza, with creative architecture and thematic lighting to add a special touch of excitement to the building at 151 South College Avenue. This highly-visible, rear parking and service area reinforces the ongoing commitment to make key alleys into interesting and attractive public spaces.

5. Susan K. Dailey designed 12 granite pavers to add a layer of interest to the new streetscape on the 300 block of Linden Street in 2013. The engraved pavers depict early Fort Collins, and work in conjunction with interpretive signs and themed benches and railings, to lend an outdoor museum dimension to this area touted as the origin of Fort Collins.

6. BHA Design designed a bold package of streetscape enhancements to transform the newly expanded Harmony Road/College Avenue intersection into an attractive community gateway for 2011. An array of features like artistic railings, sculptural planters, lighted pylons, and signal poles demonstrates how urban design can offset the harsh setting of a 70,000+ vehicles-per-day intersection.

7. BHA Design transformed the 300-400 blocks of Linden Street from a nondescript stretch of downtown to a whole new streetscape highlighted by unique features representing aspects of its historic setting. This effort, completed in 2011, extends downtown’s walk-friendly feel to connect to the Poudre River, and fosters ongoing reinvestment in this area.

8. Done in 2011, Ripley Design’s treatment of Veterans Plaza, an amphitheater park with a central plaza and stage, creates a meaningful place for public ceremonies and gatherings. Symbolism is imbued into all features in tribute to servicemen and women of our country. Besides formal gatherings, the plaza adds another element of interest and exploration to Spring Canyon Park.

9. In 2010, Preview Architecture+Planning achieved LEED Platinum designation, the highest rating for energy and environmental design for their design of the Rocky Mountain Innosphere at 320 East Vine Drive. The design uses an architectural landscape wall and solar panels to engage the public streetscape, and represents a pioneering improvement in this area between Downtown and North College Avenue.

10. James D. Reidhead is a leading pioneer in restoring and maintaining Downtown as the vital heart of our community. Many thought Jim’s efforts to restore Downtown’s beautiful historic buildings in the early 1970s were foolish and Downtown was beyond saving. Not Jim. His relentless vision for vibrant Downtown led him to help form both the Downtown General Improvement District and the Downtown Development Authority, which are largely responsible for the look and feel of our Downtown today. Jim did not limit his efforts to the city’s heart; he was instrumental in conserving both public and private open lands around Fort Collins. Fort Collins owes Jim Reidhead a huge thank you for his tireless efforts in shaping our city.

11. Richard S. Beardmore was one of the most accomplished preservationists in Colorado. Dick passed away this year and we are extremely fortunate he made Fort Collins his life and home. The heart and soul of our city, Downtown, is a showcase for his lifetime of work. Some examples include the Linden Hotel, Northern Hotel, and all of the buildings that frame Old Town Square.

Award CatEgories

Urban Design Plan
This category is for a plan or a study that provides a development or redevelopment strategy in the mid-term to long term. Urban design studies, subarea plans, urban design charettes, master plans, development plans, and a community plan of high inspirational value with the potential for significant impact on Fort Collins' urban design may be considered for award.

This category is for any built building or group of buildings that contribute to and support quality urban design. It will be an individual building or group of buildings of high architectural standard, which achieves design excellence through its unique relationship with its immediate surroundings because of its site, massing, architecture, and pedestrian amenities.

Urban Fragment
This will involve a single, small-scale piece of a building or landscape that contributes significantly to the quality of the public realm. This category includes street furniture, lighting elements, interpretation media, memorials, public art, or other forms that contribute to the beautification, enjoyment, and/or appreciation of the urban environment.

Public Space
This category is for any built project that enhances the public realm. Streetscape, public art, parks, a public space, civil engineering infrastructure, banners, and signage are examples.

Sustainable Design
This category is for any built project that furthers sustainability values. Selected projects will have significant or special benefits for environmental stewardship, social sustainability, economic vitality, or a balance among the three. Project design may address sustainability challenges by integrating factors such as architecture, engineering systems, site design, technology, natural systems, infill and redevelopment issues, and solutions to community needs. City Plan, the City’s comprehensive plan, is a useful reference for understanding sustainability values in Fort Collins.

Hall of Fame
This award honors a person/business/organization for their continuing and significant contribution to enhancing the urban design of the community.


Clark Mapes | City Planner | 970-221-6225 |