The Denver Police Department’s Crime Lab was in tight quarters, preventing the department from quickly processing evidence and casework while also negatively impacting collaboration and communication among the various lab sections.
City and County of Denver
Science & Technology, Forensic, Government Research, Lab Planning, Architecture, Interiors, Programming
60, 000 sq ft
American Institute of Architects -- Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) Publication Award, 2014
While the world of forensic investigation follows a tried-and-true process, the scales of justice and hard work that goes on behind the scenes in crime labs is increasingly becoming more science and technology-driven. And for the Denver Police Department to properly and faithfully administer justice, the organization needed to expand and update its crime lab for the 21st century.
One of the key components for creating a successful crime lab was understanding the workflow of investigators and researchers and how the different teams interact and collaborate. The larger footprint more appropriately combines services under one roof, elevating communication, coordination and efficiency of lab workflow, ultimately saving the city time and money. Furthermore, the building is designed to last at least 50 years, incorporating a flexible plan that can easily and cost-effectively react to changes in technology and organizational needs.
The SmithGroup design team ultimately delivered a forensic facility that is more than five times larger than its previous space while simultaneously addressing past constraints through careful planning and communication among stakeholders.