When we first secured the real estate for Grasslands HQ in late-2019, we knew we were going to build an airy, art-filled nontraditional office space for our team, first and foremost—and also a gathering space for our communities.
We wanted a physical space that would inspire our colleagues to do the world-class marketing and PR work Grasslands has become known for, and that’s where our central design thesis emerged: Mid-Century Mexico City. We ourselves were so inspired by our travels throughout the interior of Mexico, from the unabashed stateliness of Guadalajara to the ancient cultural significance of Oaxaca to the mad aesthetic melting pot of Mexico City—and we hoped to channel these singular points of view into an old 5,000-square-foot nightclub-brothel that sits squarely in one of Denver’s most historic Latino / Indigenous neighborhoods, a vibrant slice of Baker known as the Art District on Santa Fe.
Working with respected architect-design duo Taylor and Betsy Hawley—also longtime friends and collaborators of ours—we created an intentional space that has quickly become a community hub for all things Grasslands. It is the home of the fine art festival Biome: A Queen City Biennial and has hosted fundraisers for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and other political and social causes we align with.
It’s our honor to share this space with our clients, friends, partners and collaborators—and we do so under the watchful eye of Un Abrazo, a 26-foot-long mural we commissioned in 2019 that reminds us all that we live (and work) on stolen land.
Ricardo and Melana Baca
After exposing over 60 square feet of walled-over existing windows, we were able to see and feel the building's inherent qualities. -Taylor Hawley
From the moment we first entered the building at 1st and Santa Fe, we knew it was going to be a unique project. The abandoned Denver nightclub had a rich history, and with every wall panel we took down, we uncovered more of it. Representing the cultural history of the building and the spirit of the Art District on Santa Fe where it resides was central to the design of the project.
Ricardo and Melana had a vision for the Grasslands HQ that was anything but a corporate headquarters. With every space we looked for ways to integrate moments of surprise and meaning. From the custom chimenea in "Orlie's Lounge" to the immersive color and pattern within the bathrooms, every detail was considered for its experiential qualities. We wanted employees and visitors to feel a sense of thoughtfulness and joy when they walked through the doors.
Now that the space is open, to see how easily it transitions from a productive, team-centric workplace to a vibrant event space where the community comes together for local bands, art biennials and civic conversation is very gratifying. We look forward to seeing what Grasslands and its partners will do with their new home base!
Walking into Grasslands HQ today, it's hard to believe the post-World War II mercantile building was previously the longtime home to a popular Latin nightclub. After exposing over 60 square feet of walled-over existing windows, we were able to see and feel the building's inherent qualities.
Under multiple layers of dated flooring and faded velvet wallpaper, we found beautiful textures of concrete and masonry. The space was destined for Ricardo and Melana's brilliant Mid-Century Mexico City vision. Vibrant colors, materials and textures work together to define immersive moments that invite nostalgia and curiosity.
Now that time has passed and the Grasslands team has evolved and developed, it's even more fulfilling to see the space grow into a center of culture and community. Collaborating with Ricardo, Melana and my wife Betsy on this project was an unforgettable adventure—and it is evident in every square inch of the Grasslands HQ.