66 / BUILDING DIALOGUE / March 2019 / Refreshing a Denver Icon: Independence Plaza / OPENING ART: Live-edge natural wood tables define one of several collaboration areas in the space. LEFT: At 34 feet tall, the elevator tower is the focal point of the lobby’s remodel. TOP RIGHT: Conversation areas with modular soft-seating and cantilevered floor lamps rest just outside the soffit’s outer ring. BOTTOM RIGHT: Furniture clusters with lounge-style club chairs and cocktail tables utilize space between two of the main structure’s columns. of daylight into the space. “Even though the building has really good bones, it’s impossi- ble to account for everything that might be below the floor,” ex- plained Ben Fay, senior project manager with Vertex. “We knew that the water feature was leaking, so there was an immediate sense of urgency.” In addition to the elevator issues and tempo- rary walls, the Vertex crew had to build an OSHA-standard cov- ered walkway to the elevator doors before any remodeling could begin. The elevator clearly is at the core of the remodel. Wrapped in back-painted glass panels, the structure measures 11 feet on each side and 34 feet high. LED strip lighting behind the panels lends an ethereal glow, especially as the sun sets in the space. The sym- metry of the elevator and its location within the circular soffit are an immediate draw to the eye. Visitors and tenants naturally move to the elevator’s location near the back of the lobbywhere a variety of seating choices are available for both work and leisure. To add more function to the aesthetic, a number of furniture and lighting combinations were tucked into and just outside of the space’s four main columns. A pair of “conversation” spaces with modular soft seating and cantilevered floor lamps sit atop custom rugs just outside the ring. Live-edge natural wood tables with integral power lie between the front facing columns while the same style of table with bar-height seating adds another col- PHOTOS: David Budd Photography