Peña Station NEXT

Peña Station NEXT

Peña Station NEXT

Beyond Wellness: A Community Anchor that Intersects Health, Wellness and Technology

HDR’s engagement with Railstop LLC was initially intended to develop a program plan for a wellness centre within Peña Station NEXT, a new community in northeast Denver, Colorado. Located just south of Denver International Airport and west of two established suburban neighbourhoods the project offered a unique opportunity to anchor and influence the site’s future development. With the support of the client partners, including Fulenwider LLC, Panasonic, Permanente and Denver International Airport, HDR looked beyond just creating a program plan for a wellness center to ask instead:

“How might we create a compelling community at the intersection of health, wellness and technology?”

Starting with user need studies and ethnographic interviews, the design team developed a place-specific understanding of this community’s mindset and lifestyle related to health and wellness. This need-based foundation fed into an accelerated concept development phase, which allowed the team to produce and test multiple concepts for the site. While each initial concept interpreted “healthy community” in different ways, all centered around ideas of connection, accessibility, flexibility and discovery. To be a truly healthy community, wellness must be woven throughout the community in many forms, areas and types.

The final design solution is built from a network of community-scale “nodes”, each offering different opportunities for health, wellness and community activity. A central park sits at the heart of Peña Station NEXT, edged by key anchors including retail and residential mixed use, a grocery store and a wellness centre that integrates recreation and health clinic. A running path winds its way through the site and connects to regional trails at both the northern and southern edges of the development, connecting the community both within and beyond its boundaries.

Key Features

  • Community design centred around health and wellness
  • Design driven from place-specific user need
  • Multi-modal connection to the Denver metro area
  • A vibrant urban plaza
  • A community wellness centre (joined with Kaiser Permanente clinic)
Peña Station NEXT


World Changing Ideas, Finalist (2018)
Fast Company