Semple Brown Providing Design Services for the Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Rendering of CPAC interior, courtesy of Semple Brown.

Semple Brown Design, a Denver-based architecture and interior design firm, will provide design services for the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC), which will be moving to 1200 Lincoln St., Suite 111 in Denver. CPAC is the only Denver institution dedicated exclusively to the art of photography and the new, 4000-square-foot suite will provide the growing organization, its membership and visitors with much-needed space for gallery viewing, educational programs, and events. Through adaptive reuse, Nichols Partnership is repurposing an existing vacant high-rise office tower into 194 studio apartments in the heart of downtown Denver.

“The Colorado Photographic Arts Center fills a unique niche in Denver’s art scene as the only institution dedicated exclusively to the art of photography, with a 58-year legacy of exhibitions, education programs, and events,” said Samantha Johnston, executive director & curator. “Over the last five years, we’ve grown significantly, attracting more than 550 members and 10,000 visitors each year to our gallery and events. We’re thrilled to begin CPAC’s next chapter in a larger space that will serve our growing community of working artists, students, industry professionals, and the public. I’m especially excited about having more room to exhibit artists’ work, a dedicated classroom, and proper storage for our Permanent Collection – while remaining in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District.”

“We take a great deal of pride in our history of work for Denver’s creative arts community, and the opportunity to provide design services for the Colorado Photographic Arts Center is a tremendous honor for our firm,” said Nathan Gulash, AIA of Semple Brown Design. “The design is sympathetic to tight budgets while meeting a specific list of space requirements unique to CPAC’s mission. A simple material palette provides a bespoke background off of which exhibitions can command the main focus. Flexible and divisible gallery spaces, a purpose-driven darkroom, classroom, and breakroom facilities provide all of the components needed to create and display works of the Colorado photographic community and provide a welcoming space for visitors. We are partnering with a team of very creative and thoughtful people, and are looking forward to providing a special place for people to enjoy the artistry of some of the most talented photographers in the Rocky Mountain Region, and beyond.”

The vision for the new space includes:

  • Two galleries can be divided, creating more opportunities for artists to display their work and providing flexibility to present simultaneous exhibits and pop-up shows.
  • Dedicated classroom space with seats for 14 students, two computer workstations with printers, and wall space to hang student work.
  • Dedicated storage for CPAC’s Permanent Collection, which includes more than 800 fine art prints collected over five decades, with works by masters like Ansel Adams to contemporary photographers on the cutting edge of the medium.
  • Larger Darkroom that can accommodate three photographers, with three enlargers generously donated by The Nichols Partnership.
  • A refreshed reception area and expanded office space for staff, storage, and administrative needs.

Visit to view a 3D rendering of the new space, map, images, and more information.


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