Norris Design was established in 1985 and has a strategic partnership in planning, landscape architecture, and branding, which encompasses local, regional, national, and international projects having its main headquarters in Denver, Colorado. They combine responsive service with creative solutions grounded in realism to deliver a design that thrives in the present and future. A major success in their projects had been strategies for forming green buildings. Norris Design has been bestowed with several awards like the ASLA award and APWA project of the year, The firm of the Year, AZ APA award, NAHB, Good Design Awards, etc.. 

1. Adams County Government Center and Natural Park – Brighton, Colorado. 

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Adams County Government And Park entrance view_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/adams-county-government-center/

The 90-acre Adams County Government Center and Natural Park are designed to engage, educate and evoke a direct emotional connection to the natural environment and the County’s strong historical foundations. While the Government Center welcomes visitors to the natural surroundings, the gem of the center is the Natural Park that shields it from nearby major highways while engaging exploration of the natural setting. This portion of the site was historically utilized as irrigation storage ponds for adjoining farms. In a new sustainable use, the ponds have been rehabilitated and formed into a series of wetland cells that cascade down and around the site. A local pedestrian and bike trail winds its way around the wetland cells, connecting users with the natural landscape and diverse wildlife species that call this area home. 

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Map view of Adams County Government Center_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/adams-county-government-center/
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Entertainemrnt zone of the park_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/adams-county-government-center/

2. Arista – Broomfield, Colorado  

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Master plan aerial view of the project_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/arista/

The gateway to Broomfield, Arista is a 200-acre mixed-use development incorporating retail, high-density residential , office, transportation, entertainment and hotel uses, all connected with a strong network of parks and open space. Arista offers incredible views of the first range’s pristine mountain peaks. The buildings feature a unique, contemporary design. Roving is easy at Arista as the RTD park and ride is located on-site — Boulder or Denver. The parks at Arista contribute to a unique atmosphere, with each park derived from Colorado-based design themes. These programmatic elements enable Arista to offer a substantial and memorable experience within each of the parks, strategically located throughout the community.

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Master plan of Arista_©http://www.aristabroomfield.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/161116_Arista_Masterplan-C_new-parcel-M_with-labels5.41.jpg
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Play area for kids_©https://www.playlsi.com/493b43/globalassets/slideshows-design-files/playgrounds/arista-sensory-park/aristasensoryhero.jpg?width=1440&height=560

3. Midtown Home Plate Park –  Denver, Colorado 

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Master Plan for Midtown_©https://www.aslacolorado.org/award_winner/norris-design/

Midtown celebrates the dynamic local culture, with Home Plate Park as one of the key activated spaces in the community. The vision for Midtown was to create a walkable, sustainable community that ties into and adds to the rich dynamic culture found in Denver’s historic neighborhoods. It is intended as a mixed-use, amply diverse, and artful community. Shaped like a home plate, the park is at the end of Main Street and Midtown Promenade, making Home Plate Park a central outdoor gathering place for an extraordinarily walkable community. Porch-lined streets with an emphasis on the pedestrian environment help create a walkable, bikeable, commutable environment. The inspiration for the interactive water feature for the park derived from the historic use of irrigation canals, and flood irrigation for agriculture in this area. A series of fun, interactive, and operable “flood gates” allow kids to manipulate the flow of water. There’s also a computer-operated fountain in the park.

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Midtown Park view_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/midtown-home-plate-park/
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lively pool within a living farm_©https://www.aslacolorado.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/02-RainDance-River-Resort-640×350.jpg

4. Reunion Commerce City – Colorado

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Sketch of Reunion_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/reunion/

Reunion is a master-planned community covering more than 3 thousand acres across northern Commerce City. The development includes a variety of housing, commercial services, and employment opportunities in a combination of creative arrangements designed to achieve a balanced community. The 1,600 acres of residential development accommodates all population levels, from low densities to medium densities to higher densities. The development consists of 900 acres of mixed-use and commercial development from the town center along with a town hall, a recreation center, and daycare centers.  The project received a few awards such as the 2007 American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter, Merit Award, Design Category,  2003 The Bar Awards, Silver Award, Community of the year, etc. 

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Landscape design of Reunion_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/reunion/
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Sketch of residence spaces of Reunion_©https://reunionco.com/about-reunion/

5. Flight For Life Mahany Heroes Park – Frisco, Colorado

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The focal point helicopter blade bench is made from real helicopter blades_©https://media.crej.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/20094045/FFL_CREJ-2.jpg

St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center is a Level III Trauma Center served by Flight for Life Colorado. On July 3, 2015, a tragic helicopter crash occurred on-site. Pilot and decorated Veteran Patrick Mahany died in the crash and two flight nurses were critically injured. Mahany Heroes Park honors the victims, creates a space for reflection, and celebrates the lives that are saved by hospital and Flight For Life health professionals. The Park is adjacent to Forest Service lands along the Summit County Recreation Path. Three concepts unify the park for a better visual experience – honor, celebration, and reflection – are represented in three main spaces.

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The site plan graphic shows how helicopter wind patterns were incorporated into the overall hardscape and landscape design of the memorial park_©https://crej.com/news/flight-for-life-mahany-heroes-park-a-memorial-to-bravery/
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The pillars are illuminated at dusk and dawn by dark sky-compliant lights, shining down and onto the path_©https://crej.com/news/flight-for-life-mahany-heroes-park-a-memorial-to-bravery/

6. Forsberg Iron Spring Park – Lakewood, Colorado. 

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Forseberg Iron Spring Plan render image©_https://www.norris-design.com/work/forsberg-iron-spring-park/

The 30.8-acre Forsberg Iron Spring Park is present adjacent to Green Mountain and connects the Solterra community, William Frederick Hayden Park, and a planned regional train system. The park consists of multi-use trails, a 4-acre dog park, and a passive recreation area featuring irrigated manicured grasses and native xeric demonstration gardens with illustrative signages. Blending in with its natural surroundings, much of the park is planted with essential seeds, trees, and shrubs and incorporates regional materials such as local stone. The project has won the 2009 American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter, Merit Award, Design Category. 

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Image of the plan for Pavilion garden in Forsberg Spring_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/forsberg-iron-spring-park/
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details of the park_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/forsberg-iron-spring-park/

7. Raindance River Resort – Windsor, Colorado. 

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Master Plan for Raindance River Resort_©https://raindancecolorado.com/about-raindance/river-resort/

Serving as a hub for family fun, RainDance River Resort features the state’s most extensive river entertainment . A mini zone of its lively surroundings, the resort-style pool is situated within a 13.4-acre park and is connected to various open spaces, orchards, and farmland through an extensive train network. Agrarian patterns formed the pool and landscape design, and farm equipment was modified to function playfully according to the user. A working center pivot irrigation system is distributed as a custom water feature. A silo tower slide spills into a lazy river in the shape of the Raindance logo. The tower is a homegrown pool concept and a watering hole reimagined.  The Project received two awards: the 2020 National Association of Home Builders in American Living Awards, Gold Award, for Community Facility, and the 2020 American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter, Merit Award.

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Aerial view of water zone_©https://raindancecolorado.com/about-raindance/river-resort/
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Extended play area for kids_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/raindance-river-resort/

8. Colliers Hill – Erie, Colorado

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Landscape planning of Colliers Hill_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/colliers-hill/

A 965-acre master-planned community located just outside of downtown Erie, the plan of Colliers Hill takes advantage of sweeping views of the Front Range with more than 200 acres of open space for users and 9+ miles of trails at final build-out. At the core of the community is the thought of movement: along strong open space corridors, meandering medians along Horizon Boulevard, and in regional and native trail connections. The landscape design incorporates this concept of movement through bands of grasses, arching walls, and passageway monuments that make a true sense of arrival. The open space connections and pocket parks develop a network of green that creates the community walkable and creates destination parks like the Community Park and Discovery Park adjacent to the elementary school.

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Colliers Hill Aerial view_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/colliers-hill/
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Landscape plan with house arrangements_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/colliers-hill/

9. Vita – Littleton, Colorado

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Master Plan of Vita Littleton_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/vita/

Vita is a 55 and older apartment community in downtown Littleton located one block east of an RTD light rail station. Two main amenity areas are placed on Vita’s side to take advantage of expansive views of the mountains and downtown Littleton. A deck contains a pool and raised spa, a terraced deck for seating, an outside kitchen, and a fireplace pit. The lower amphitheater contains a stage and a close-by community garden . a fireplace lane designed as a pedestrian promenade/plaza connects the entire south and west side of the site. A dog park, bike velo room, and potting room are accessible from the promenade, as may be a community trail that links north to the Platte River and Highline Canal trails. 

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Pool view of the building_©https://www.google.com/maps
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Landscape and hardscape design_©https://www.google.com/maps

10. Denver Housing Authority Mariposa Phase IV –  Denver Colorado

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Color coordination of the buildings_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/denver-housing-authority-mariposa-phase-iv/

Mariposa phase IV clinical trials, a mixed-use transit-oriented redevelopment of South Lincoln Park, includes a streetscape design to activate 10th Avenue because it connects to the Santa Fe and the art district from the 10th following Osage light rail station. Creative playgrounds for families are provided and an infancy education center is the key element of the courtyard which also features a community greenhouse and gardens and permeable landscape restraint. Additionally, to promote healthy eating and gardening activities among citizens, the courtyard offers residents a fitness zone featuring outdoor exercise pieces of equipment and a rubberized surface for youngsters learning to ride bicycles keeping in mind the fitness goals.  Mariposa had obtained a LEED Platinum certification.

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Landscape and hardscape design with buildings_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/denver-housing-authority-mariposa-phase-iv/
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Mariposa 3d Sketch_©https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/60db4fc613876d44e594f85c/d02f5717-e26a-48bb-b44c-da6f5781b4c2/Mariposa+stair.JPG

11. Granite Place at Village Center – Greenwood Village, Colorado.

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Granite Place at Village Center building_©https://www.google.com

Granite Place at Village Center is found at 6175 S. Willow Drive. Granite Place at Village Center may be a 10-story, 300,000 SF office block in a transit-oriented development south of Denver. Several public plazas with linear design elements and arching stone walls create outdoor rooms for leisure. The fence material is extended into the medials to create an enhanced streetscape view with several 30 evergreen trees brought in to create instant screening for the parking structure. Vines and a green screen through the landscape will help soften the garage facade. 

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side view of building_©https://confluentdev.com/wp-content/uploads/granite-2-1024×517.jpg
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aerial view of Granite Place at Village Center building_©https://www.openstudioarchitecture.com/2014-granite-place

12. Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability –  Tempe, Arizona 

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side view of Arizona state university global institute of sustainability_©https://www.thechicecologist.com/green-design/architecture-green-design/green-renovation-to-global-institute-of-sustainability-building-on-asu-campus-structure-recycling/

Global Institute of Sustainability, was a renovation project of an existing building. The challenge to rework multi-level balconies and patios into enjoyable outdoor spaces for use by ASU students and faculty members, green screens, and potted gardens were introduced which create a pleasant micro-climate even in high summer temperatures and provide aesthetic enhancements year-round. Much of the prevailing landscape was not native nor was it low-water use. With very tight budget constraints, Norris Design created an answer that balanced preserving the existing mature landscape while introducing native and low water-use plantings. Other sustainably-minded elements include an automatic landscape irrigation system, previous paving, and outdoor furniture with high recycled content.

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images during construction_©https://www.thorntontomasetti.com/sites/default/files/styles/paragraph_slideshow/public/istb7-20.jpg?itok=B9UF_PcX
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Aerial view of the site_©https://www.asu.edu/sites/default/files/2022-03/210517-16×9-TempeBiodesign.jpeg

13. Baseline East Village 

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Rendered image of project_©https://47e3pc3ub02ldpyif1e2ob12-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/awards/2020/2020-9379/3_nahbbalabaselineeastvillage3.jpg

The first phase of a 1200-acre master-planned community, Baseline East Village sets a replacement standard for neighborhood living. With a view to connectivity, a differentiated streetscape welcomes both pedestrians and another little category of the population can be expressed as pollinators. This urban walkable community is linked by a pollinator corridor that connects individual gardens with significant park areas to create an additional element of the space making it interactive and engaging. Looking to the longer term, Baseline East Village celebrates walkability, sustainability, and individuality. 

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rendered view of baseline village_©https://bestinamericanliving.com/wp-content/uploads/awards/2020/2020-9379/00001-primary.jpg
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plan view of landscape and hardscape_©https://47e3pc3ub02ldpyif1e2ob12-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/awards/2020/2020-9379/nahbbalabaselineeastvillage7.jpg

14. Wind Crest Senior Living – Highlands Ranch, Colorado. 

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View of Wind Crest Senior Living building_©Wind Crest Senior Living | Norris Design

A senior living community with an entire continuum of care, Wind Crest occupies a 140-acre campus. Approximately 1,950 residential units and an unbroken care facility are arranged within three separate neighborhoods. The site’s design focuses on preserving views of the Rocky Mountain foothills and Denver skyline while protecting the Highline Canal corridor that bifurcates the site. Landscape design elements encompass three compatible themes that specialize in the local environments. Residents’ lifestyles, interests, and activity levels influenced the planning of site elements and outdoor spaces.

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rendered site plan_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/wind-crest-senior-living/
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Sketch of landscape and hardscape_©https://www.norris-design.com/work/wind-crest-senior-living/

15. Serenity Garden

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Serenity Garden rendered sketch_©https://www.norris-design.com/showcase/serenity-garden/

The Serenity Garden creatively combines indoor comfort with outdoor space through creative touches, thoughtful materials, and careful plant selection. Visited daily by the cancer center’s patients, staff, and visitors, the garden provides a welcome space for contemplation and healing. Intimate spaces for both interaction and solitude are created through a spread of seating groups, raised planter benches, and changes in texture and materials. The garden’s focus is a water wall framed by palm trees. Providing a serene sensory experience, the wall displays words of positivity to assist in the healing process and can be seen from all angles of the garden. The project received the 2017 ASLA Arizona Honor Award: Design.

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Water wall_© https://www.norris-design.com/showcase/serenity-garden/  
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Water wall_©https://www.norris-design.com/showcase/serenity-garden/

References: 

  1. https://www.norris-design.com/work/adams-county-government-center/  
  2. https://www.norris-design.com/work/arista/  
  3. https://www.aristabroomfield.com/  
  4. https://landscapearchitect.com/landscape-articles/denver-midtown-brownfield-revitalization  
  5. https://www.norris-design.com/work/midtown-home-plate-park/  
  6. https://www.c3gov.com/living-in/neighborhood-projects/reunion  
  7. https://www.norris-design.com/work/reunion/  
  8. https://crej.com/news/flight-for-life-mahany-heroes-park-a-memorial-to-bravery/  
  9. https://www.norris-design.com/work/flight-for-life-mahany-heroes-park/  
  10. https://www.lakewood.org/Government/Departments/Community-Resources/Parks-Forestry-and-Open-Space/A-to-Z-Park-List/Forsberg-Park  
  11. https://www.norris-design.com/work/forsberg-iron-spring-park/  
  12. https://www.norris-design.com/work/raindance-river-resort/  
  13. https://www.norris-design.com/work/leawood-amphitheater/  
  14. https://www.norris-design.com/work/vita/  
  15. https://www.norris-design.com/work/denver-housing-authority-mariposa-phase-iv/  
  16. https://www.norris-design.com/work/granite-place-at-village-center/  
  17. https://www.norris-design.com/work/asu-global-institute-of-sustainability/  
  18. https://www.norris-design.com/showcase/baseline-east-village/  
  19. https://www.norris-design.com/work/wind-crest-senior-living/  
  20. https://www.norris-design.com/showcase/serenity-garden/  
Author

Rashi Sharma is an Architecture student from India awarded for her debating and creative skills in the field of Art and Architecture. She is known for her details through graphics explanation that makes her stand out from other authors. She specializes in writing about architectural content and also reviews categories of books.

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