Radar: Scene

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#INSTACRUSH @laura.arledge

WHO: Laura Arledge, founder of Fort Collins-based interior design firm State, shares her daily design encounters along Colorado’s Front Range through a thoughtfully curated collection of high-contrast photos.

AC HOTELS + LE MÉRIDIEN DENVER DOWNTOWN AC Hotels by Marriott and Le Méridien chose the Mile High City as the location for their first dual-branded hotel. Slated to open this August, the AC Hotel + Le Méridien Denver Downtown will reside at the corner of 15th and California streets. Though the two hotels will share one structure—and guests can enjoy the amenities of both—each will operate independently. Defined by its glass façade on California Street, Le Méridien will offer rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a full-service restaurant and Le Méridien Hub, a fresh take on the hotel lobby, where master baristas will serve up serious coffee drinks and the brand’s signature éclairs. Meanwhile, on 15th Street, a brick façade will mark the entrance to the AC Hotel Denver Downtown, with its open-concept lobby and rooms with streamlined furnishings, oversize picture windows and wood floors. Twenty floors above its 495 rooms, the dual-hotel will offer an open-air rooftop bar—poised to become Colorado’s highest. whitelodging.com

WHY: “This feed is an opportunity to learn how to see the beauty in everything,” Arledge says of her photos, which range from snaps of a simple scoop of ice cream to ornate tin ceiling tiles. Following her account yields practical design advice, too: Look for mood boards, product picks and introductions to cool local shops and makers. IN HER WORDS: “My feed sharpens my way of thinking and helps me practice design principles like balance, harmony and repetition. I intend to use it as a form of artistic expression and to help develop my eye, but if other people are inspired, then, hey, that’s pretty cool.”


Since 1989, Andrew Ramiro Tirado has helped others create art: as a studio assistant to painter Chuck Close, as an art instructor, and then, as the owner of Artworks, his own fabrication studio. But, last year, the Colorado Springs-based artist left all that behind to focus on self-directed work that lingers on a single theme: arms and hands, rendered in 3D sculptures and large-scale drawings. Built in a range of media, from reclaimed wood to chalk pastels, each piece explores the anatomy and iconography of the hand. Unconcealed pencil lines, sanding marks and exposed screwheads celebrate the artist’s process—“evidences, pun or not, of the handmade,” he says. Tirado’s work is on view at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and will soon be in the entry lobby of the Maven, the up-and-coming boutique hotel in Denver’s Dairy Block. Here, he shares the Front Range artists and galleries that consistently catch his eye. andrewtirado.com

Where he shops: The only thing I covet more than Geoffrey Keating’s shop, Keating Woodworks, is his custom neo-Traditional furniture. For furniture that integrates reclaimed materials, check out Where Wood Meets Steel in Denver and Revampt in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood. Gallery-hop stops: I regularly swing by Denver’s Robischon Gallery and Michael Warren Contemporary. They’re both on par with the best 134 / luxesource.com

contemporary art venues anywhere. I’m also partial to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and its tasteful and expansive addition by Denver’s Tryba Architects. On the Colorado Springs arts scene: Not unlike the burgeoning artisanal coffee scene, there’s some really quality stuff brewing locally—more every day, it seems. Within a half-mile radius of my home and studio are excellent galleries, museums, shops and workshops. While it’s

great to have Denver, Santa Fe, Aspen and Taos in the region, I’m happy things are blooming close to home. My favorite local artist is Manitou Springs’ Floyd D. Tunson; his talent, inspiration and encouragement many years ago caused me to start down this path. One to watch: I’m a big fan of artist Teresa Booth Brown. The compositional and color sensibilities in her abstractions (paintings and works on paper) are just peerless. WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY CHRISTINE DEORIO

bLueprint rendering: White Lodging / hks hospitaLity group. instacrush photos: Laura arLedge. the insider photo: andreW raMiro tirado.


WHAT: Much like her own midcentury home, Arledge’s feed is a minimal and ever-evolving composition with pops of artwork, furnishings and bold graphics. You’ll find design details with classicAmericana and artisan-crafted styles, plus glimpses of Arledge’s favorite area haunts and plenty of inspiration from her ongoing home renovation.

date book photos: portrait, chris strong; vignettes, courtesy independent architecture.



Denver native Paul Andersen has studied, practiced and taught architecture on the West Coast, on the East Coast and at any number of points between. But when he started his own firm, Independent Architecture, in 2009, Denver felt like the ideal home base. “It still has a frontier mentality: We can try things here that might not fly in other cities,” he explains. “People realize that architecture is not a life-or-death proposition, so we can get a little weird.” Andersen’s outside-thebox designs include an array of residential, urban and cultural projects, such as the Catamount Institute’s spiral-shaped dormitory on Pikes Peak, the Bubble Garden installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and, soon to be built, a steel-panel-clad residence in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood. Through his work, Andersen aims to respond to changes in contemporary culture with thoughtful, if unusual, new design possibilities. “We’re curious about history, design conventions and what we can accomplish by treating both irreverently,” he says. “At the same time, we try to make our work accessible to a broad audience. Our best projects encourage people to see architecture with new eyes.” Take his Denver day trip, below, if you’re seeking an equally fresh perspective on the Mile High City. independentarchitecture.com 9 a.m. Start the day at Stowaway Coffee & Kitchen, where you’ll find good food served in a nice bright space. I usually order the muesli. 10 a.m. It’s no secret that the best place to view great architecture in Denver is around Civic Center Park. Check out the main branch of the Denver Public Library, a Postmodern building designed by the late Michael Graves. In the same area, the Denver Art Museum’s Gio Pontiand Daniel Libeskind-designed buildings are also spectacular. 12 p.m. For lunch, stop by an old standby: El Taco De Mexico, at West 7th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive. Order anything, so long as it’s smothered.

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1 p.m. Take a little road trip north to Mendoza Used Brick and Demolition Services, which sorts salvage materials into piles by type, size and color. I always enjoy walking around the yard, where you can peruse the many species of bricks. 3 p.m. Head to the Larimer Street area, where you’ll find our office. Visit Charlie’s 2nd Hand Store, which sells new and used tools for a variety of trades. Or, walk to The Usual for a haircut and shave. Owner Bridget Mahoney and her fellow barbers will have you looking sharp. 4 p.m. Pop into Finn’s Manor for a beer and a quick bite. The cocktail bar hosts a rotating assortment of

food trucks, so you’ll have a lot of choices—and it’s a great place to sit outside. 5 p.m. Make your way to the LoDo neighborhood for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, a black glass building designed by architect David Adjaye that houses galleries lit by constantly changing sunlight. Director Adam Lerner’s mix of intellectualism and fun makes

the MCA one of the most provocative institutions in the world. Give yourself an hour or two to see the exhibitions. 6:30 p.m. End your day with a drink at the café and bar on the MCA’s rooftop. If your timing is right, you can catch a talk on Marxism and kittens, porcini mushrooms and the American ideal or some other seemingly unrelated pair of topics.