2008 MFE Awards
Merit: Senior

Submitted by: James, Harwick + Partners There are definitely worse places to spend your golden years. Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo., is located southwest of downtown Denver on a steep, sloping hill. Not only does it boast scenic views of the front range of the Rocky Mountains, it's bisected by a turn-of-the-century irrigation canal.

So when architect James, Harwick + Partners in Dallas started work on the project (developed by Erickson Retirement Communities), it was a no-brainer to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding the project, which includes 500 units in three distinct neighborhoods. And that's exactly what the firm did. It designed the seven-story residential buildings so the larger exterior detailing, articulated roof lines, and brightly contrasting exterior colors accentuated the views from the nearby C-470 corridor.

The canal presented both opportunities and obstacles. Harwick + Partners designed the entry boulevard to parallel the canal by providing a relaxing informal entry experience that took advantage of the existing canal tree line and open space. The architects also worked to maximize the residents' views of the mountains. Did all the effort translated into a successful project? Yes. As of June 2008, the property was 100 percent occupied.