This quick turnaround visualization project originated as my firm studioINSITE was interviewing for a streetscape project in Denver. The Colfax Corridor is a historic street close to downtown that includes a variety of iconic theaters, restaurants, small shops, beautiful architecture flanked by established Capitol Hill residential neighborhoods.
I chose to develop a series of six “before and after” sketches, each based on digital photographs that I took with my iPhone during a walking tour of the twenty block long study area. Each drawing represented a different design approach to address topics such as opening up blank walls to the street, widening sidewalks, creating pocket parks, infill development and other areas of interest to the client. The drawing method I used was identical for each drawing and involved three simple steps:
- Print the photograph on letter sized paper (image area approximately 6”x9”)
- Tape tracing paper over the print and illustrate the new design intervention first with light pencil, then with pen and ink
- Color the illustration with Chartpak AD markers and scan at 300 dpi.
The following six sketches are shown with the original photograph, the black and white illustration and the final colored drawing.
Sketch #1 - Pita Grill. This drawing was developed to illustrate how a restaurant might open onto a narrow sidewalk by replacing existing storefronts with a large “garage door” system that creates an indoor-outdoor relationship between the restaurant and the public realm. It basically creates an outdoor dining space that is tucked beneath the building rather than extending out into the limited sidewalk space.
Sketch #2 - Corner Pocket Park. This existing triangular space at a diagonal intersection tucked behind a bus stop and in front of a liquor store presented a great opportunity to illustrate converting the unsightly space into a small pocket park with seating, low walls, and landscaping. Comparing this final colored drawing with the original digital photograph creates a compelling argument for investing in this small but impactful corridor intervention.
Sketch #3 - Opening onto the Street. There is an existing restaurant behind this blank wall as part of a hotel. This sketch illustrated the positive impact on the sidewalk when the exterior wall of the hotel is opened to the street and visually connected to the sidewalk. New lighting, landscaping and patrons activate the sidewalk and create a much safer pedestrian environment than what exists today.
Sketch #4 - Ogden Theatre Sidewalk. This popular theater in the heart of the Colfax corridor has very little room in front of the entrance for people to congregate. The sketch I made illustrates widening the sidewalk by simply eliminating several parking spaces and creating a safer front door for the theater. Bollards line the sidewalk edge to establish a safe buffer from the busy street traffic.
Sketch #5 - Facade Improvements. I took the liberty to revise the exterior windows of the existing bank building and to activate a space adjacent to the bank with some wall treatment and landscaping. Unlike the previous sketches, this one doesn’t have the high visual impact as the detail is smaller and not so obvious.
Sketch #6 - Infill Development. Much of the Colfax corridor consists of small national chains (7 Elevens, Arby’s, McDonalds, Conoco gas, etc.). This final sketch represents how the existing street corner might appear if the property were to be developed with a multi-story building with ground floor retail and upper level residential.
Workshop Announcement! I am offering a two-day Drawing Workshop August 5-6, 2016 in Denver. If you are interested in having an action packed two days fine tuning your drawing skills and learning new hybrid drawing techniques please visit my web page describing the workshop. This will be the only workshop I am offering in 2016. Click here for information.