Today's spaces are designed for maximum interaction

Architects know that amenities are less important than experiences and programming

Designing buildings today is more about creating an experience for the people who use them than it is about providing a place to work or live. Giving people a place to interact with each other, whether it’s the office or at home, is a goal many architects and developers strive to achieve.

“Amenities are important, but the experiences and programming are more important,” said Matt Joblon, chief executive of Denver-based BMC Investments, which is developing a number of projects in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood. “People want to be around other people and socialize and interact. People are seeking connections.”

Joblon’s luxury apartment projects include a concierge on duty 24 hours a day, as well as on-call doctors and massage therapists. The fitness center is more than a room filled with equipment — it’s got interesting classes like yoga and barre workouts, much like you’d find at a spa. Sunset cocktail parties are organized on rooftop decks, and other events are organized to promote interaction among the residents.

“Hospitality translates into almost every other avenue we get into,” said Matt Cecere, a principal at 4240 Architecture, which is designing BMC’s latest apartment project at 210 St. Paul.

At Colorado State University, 4240 focused on the common areas for Laurel Village, a student housing complex where it added two new buildings and put the community component for students to gather in the center of the development.

"We’ve introduced more of a social aspect to student housing,” said Izabela Rydel, associate principal at the firm. “We based our design on how villages were traditionally planned around a center that was community oriented. Today, students study in groups. The social element is so important because it’s very integral with the way students learn these days.”

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