New York firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL) has beaten Gluckman Tang and NADAAA to the commission for the Telluride Transfer Warehouse in Colorado.

The practice will now lead the design for the new arts center in the former Victorian mining town in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Earlier this year, the “Telluride Transfer Warehouse Design Competition” attracted 30 firms, of which the aforementioned firms, from New York and Boston respectively, along with LTL, were named as finalists.

LTL Architects Telluride Transfer Warehouse Design. (Courtesy Telluride Arts)

The competition brief called for a historically sensitive proposal that respected the National Historic Landmark warehouse that was originally constructed in 1906. In its 111-year existence, the warehouse has suffered. Its roof collapsed in 1979, something which halted operations on site and from that point onwards the building has stood empty, becoming a well-known Telluride relic.

LTL Architects Telluride Transfer Warehouse Design. (Courtesy Telluride Arts)

LTL’s design sees a timber structure nestled into the original sandstone walls. Without any roof, LTL’s wooden form is able poke above the masonry to provide a rooftop terrace—one of three levels. Keeping visitors physically engaged with the 6,000-square-foot is a staircase that bridges the timber and stone and runs up two the longer, street-facing edge of the warehouse. Light enters the stairway space through a glass ceiling and through the original windows, thus maintaining the more recent history of decay and abandonment. Meanwhile by the entrance, a retractable skylight will partially cover a double-height ground floor concourse. This area will be known as the “Great Hall.”

LTL Architects Telluride Transfer Warehouse Design. (Courtesy Telluride Arts)

Moreover, programmatically, the Telluride Transfer Warehouse will also include a screening and music venue below; two levels of flexible exhibition spaces can be found as well. The rooftop will offer a cafe and bar along with views out across the mountainscape.

The building is sited in the the center of Telluride’s arts district. “Key elements of the program include a Kunsthalle for exhibitions, flexible spaces that transform to host a multitude of events, and a small, museum-style bar/cafe that invites a constant flow of people and casual gatherings into a living-room atmosphere,” said the Telluride Artsorganization on their website. “Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis looks forward to working with and the community in the realization of this important structure in the heart of the historic town,” the firm said in a press release.

Construction is due to start in 2018. To learn more about the Telluride Transfer Warehouse visit the Telluride Arts website here.

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