Peña Station NEXT Experience Vision and Wellness Center Program Plan

Peña Station NEXT

Peña Station NEXT Experience Vision and Wellness Center Program Plan

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

Within our urban and suburban communities, health, mobility and social equity challenges create barriers for many to thrive. Within the new emerging transit-oriented community of Peña Station NEXT, HDR led a unique concept vision for an aspirational future community designed with the intent to promote community health, active mobility, and connection to the natural environment.

Initially, the focus of the project was to develop a program plan for a wellness center within this emerging new community in northeast Denver, Colorado. Located just south of Denver International Airport and west of two established suburban neighborhoods, the project offered a unique opportunity to anchor and influence the site’s future development. With the support of the client and stakeholders, HDR looked beyond the community health benefit of a single wellness center to ask instead:

How might we create a compelling community at the intersection of wellness, mobility 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 concept 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, the transit station and plaza, and a wellness center 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 concept centered 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 center and clinic
Peña Station NEXT


World Changing Ideas, Finalist (2018)
Fast Company