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DENVER-David Owen Tryba Architects, headed by David Tryba, has been selected as the master urban design architect for the $378-million Denver Justice Center project. Tryba’s role as master developer will be to provide a “unifying vision” for the Justice Center, to be built on the site of the Rocky Mountain News. The center will include a jail, courthouse and parking garage in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

While each of the individual buildings will be designed by a separate competitively chosen architect, the master urban design architect will ensure the creation of a cohesive campus with significant and distinct signature buildings, while keeping the overall functionality of the justice system at the heart of the project.

The selection process for the master urban design architect began in early June when six firms from across the country submitted qualifications in response to the city’s advertisement for professional design services. Of those six firms, five were asked to interview with the design jury, comprised of 12 jurors representing the neighborhoods surrounding the Civic Center, business leaders and user groups.

At the completion of the interviews the design jury recommended two firms to Mayor John Hickenlooper as finalists: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York City and Tryba. It was a tough choice, because both firms are so qualified, according to Hickenlooper.

“We selected David Owen Tryba Architects because of their integrated approach to solving complex urban design issues, their unique understanding of the Civic Center district, and the exceptional quality of their proposal,” Hickenlooper says.

As the master urban design architect, Tryba will study the Justice Center site and conduct community listening sessions to provide a detailed description of how the courthouse, jail facility and parking garage will relate to each other and how the public spaces will function within the community.

Among other things, Tryba was the lead architect on the team that designed nearby Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building. Other landmark building designed by him include 16 Market Square, which recently sold for a record price per sf for a downtown building; Mercantile Square, a historic building in LoDo anchored by a Tattered Cover bookstore; and the Lowry Town Center. In addition, Tryba has a number of urban buildings either under construction or on the drawing board in Downtown.

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