Atmosphere

Fully Charged

Denver building owners rethink the standard sea of cubicles.

June 2011

A rooftop with a skateboard area and a communal pinball machine may sound more like a junior high daydream than an office, but that’s what you’ll find at Battery 621 in the Art District on Santa Fe. The off-kilter work environment is exactly what the four owners envisioned when they bought an empty two-story warehouse last May. The group wanted to build a place where like-minded companies (like adventure-sports outfits and production studios) could work side by side.

After opening in November 2010, the co-op is now home to 12 businesses, including snow-sports powerhouse Spyder and boutique ski-producer Icelantic, as well as several multimedia companies with an emphasis on outdoor lifestyle. “We’ve tried really hard—in both the physical design of the building and which companies have come in—to help sculpt a collaborative environment,” part-owner Mike Arzt says.

Throughout the space, a freewheeling, adventure-driven attitude is obvious, from hanging ski lift benches to the abundant supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Red Bull. Many of the office’s walls retract or move, seamlessly shifting a conference room into a First Friday gallery or a showroom into a dance floor complete with a fireplace and a Skullcandy DJ booth. The result? An office building that works—and plays—well with others.

Want a spot?

An office at Battery 621 rents for about $450 to $750 a month, and as of press time there were still a few open spots. But paying the rent is just part of the process. “We do not have a formal application process,” says part-owner Mike Arzt. “It is all done by having very open conversations, introducing the [prospective client] and their company to everyone else in the building, and even inviting them to come and work in Battery 621 before signing the lease.” battery621.com