Colorado's First Tall Timber Tower

Return to Form | Denver, CO


Return to Form is a residential apartment building that is bringing tall timber to the Colorado skyline. The project team allowed the timber to be the driving element and decision maker on the job and worked to design efficiencies, allowing for a mass timber structure that will be easier to fabricate and quick to install. The Return to Form project intends to take an urban-infill parcel and offer high-density urban living to the River North Art District, a neighborhood well-known for its historic architecture. The design of this 12-story, 95,000 SF mass timber structure was intended to reflect the timeless timber and brick buildings located on neighboring blocks.

The City of Denver was one the first to adopt the new IBC 2024 code provision G147-21, supporting an increase in the allowable area of exposed mass timber ceilings from 20% to 100% in buildings up to 12-stories in height. With this code change, the building can showcase the full extent of the timber structure without any variance request, providing a road map for the rest of the country on building tall timber structures within the limits of the code. At the time of its completion, Return to Form will be the second tallest mass timber structure in the United States.


Developer | Katz Development

Architect | tres birds workshop

Structural Engineer | KL&A Engineers & Builders

General Contractor | Swinerton

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