May 31, 2024 - Business

First look: Inside the new Populus Hotel under construction in Denver

The hotel, designed by architect Jeanne Gang is located on a 10,000-square-foot, triangle shaped plot next to city hall, just off Civic Center.

The hotel, designed by architect Jeanne Gang, is located on a 10,000-square-foot triangle-shaped plot next to city hall, just off Civic Center in downtown Denver. Photos: John Frank/Axios

The outdoor-inspired Populus Hotel is taking shape.

Why it matters: The building, located on a prominent downtown corner near city hall, is poised to become one of Denver's most stunning landmarks and the nation's first carbon-positive hotel.

The latest: The exterior — designed to look like an Aspen tree, with its white curved shape and black windows — is complete, and construction is now focused on the interior.

  • The lobby will feature a hanging sculpture made from mushrooms and carpet that is compostable.
  • The restaurant will install a biodigester to turn all food waste into compost that the hotel hopes is used in the Civic Center gardens it overlooks.

What they're saying: "We are really going to put the emphasis on an environmentally forward experience," says George Prine, the hotel's general manager.

What's next: The hotel is planning to open by late September and will be booking reservations for mid-October.

Take a look inside:

The populus hotel

The hotel is made with 365 panels constructed from glass fiber and cement.

The hotel features 65 different window shapes including this arch on the second floor. The windows look like black marks on an Aspen tree and provide shade to the rooms inside.

The hotel features 65 different window shapes, including this arch on the second floor. The windows look like black marks on an Aspen tree and provide shade to the rooms inside.

Populus Hotel

The first floor is a restaurant and bar with tables at the point that reaches toward the Civic Center.

Populus hotel

The hotel features all round edges, including an oval center shaped like a trunk and a circular staircase on the first floor. "There is really no straight lines in nature so we wanted to play with that," Prine says.

Populus Hotel

The ceiling is being designed with reused snow fences from Wyoming, and the room's headboards are constructed with beetle kill wood.

Populus Hotel

The top 13th floor features the hotel's second restaurant — and a private luxury suite — with a chef's table that offers a stunning view of city hall.

The Populus Hotel

The 13th floor restaurant features a lounge and bar with a large window that will open to the patio.

Populus Hotel

The patio on the top floor offers unvarnished views of the State Capitol, Civic Center and city hall.

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