Gold Hill Mesa

Colorado Springs, CO | 2016

TDG Architecture led the effort, with the Collaborative Design Group, on the conceptual design to create an innovative commercial master plan for Gold Hill Mesa Neighborhood.

Located on an impressive hillside, the design and layout of a mixed use sustainable village was dictated by the existing site. Our goal was to create a sustainable village for all generations where nature guides purpose and people are inspired by the place they live.

We create the standard for all buildings to be designed not only for today but also for the next century, taking care of this place and our community.

Our goals formed into a three-tier approach, with key visions below:


  • • Naturally built for combining energy and community connections
  • • Provide views complement The Village and expand opportunities
  • • Creative flexibility of the buildings as we grow
  • • Transforming the physical environment to influence new ideas
  • • The hillside provides energy innovation at every point of the compass


  • • The human face of innovation
  • • Complementary closeness of people to inspire
  • • Increase the potential of a healthier daily life
  • • Empower all generations by living in a diverse social ecology


  • • Mix and match ideas, people, and technology to drive growth
  • • Rich in life-long learning opportunities
  • • Nimble zoning for building uses to reach quickly to the market
  • • Being better rather doing better
  • • Conserving to generate future, long-term wealth in creativity, renewal, and restoration

A community public plaza faces a natural hillside, and is designed to promote flexibility. The centrally-located plaza and hillside park were placed where the natural landforms would need the least amount of modification. It wraps around the existing smoke stack that has become a historical landmark for Gold Hill Mesa. The plaza itself has been designed to have increased flexibility to fit a multitude of events.

The Plaza is designed to use distinctive paving patterns, eliminating curbs and promoting pedestrians and bicyclists. Acting as a park and an outdoor amphitheater, the landscape and surrounding building work together to direct sound and provide acoustics for a multitude of uses. The Stack landmark acts as the central core to the new development, with roads and walkways radiating from it. The space is designed to respond to varying flows of people as they inhabit the space, making for a dynamic experience. Easy switchbacks connect the current walkable neighborhood to the Stack and community Plaza. Hillside Park provides overlooking views of The Village as well as Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.

The entire system of retail, commercial, and residential buildings sit on a smart grid that enables them to be energy efficient. Then on the grid the buildings themselves have been placed to gain solar access, shade where it’s needed, and flexibility for future change.  Underground utility corridors bundled together create an efficient system for our utilities. Buildings are designed to reflect the sun’s warmth in the winter and provide shade and cooling in the summer. Designing for flexibility at each level, office space, retail, and living, was an in-house requirement. Durable building structures will create a lasting framework where, over time, different users can occur with little alterations to the building. Large storefront shops invite people in from the street with generous sidewalks with outdoor seating areas and display give life to the buildings and streets, while also getting the best sun exposure. The neighborhood will be able to foster business-centric attitudes by creating places for collaboration opportunities.

Green Walkways radiate out from The Stack to celebrate the time of day as well as direct views to our natural landmarks in Colorado Springs. The hillside became a place-making site for healthy living where sundial garden walkways are incorporated to increase solar access on the hill’s north side, promote walkability through the site, and gain connections and view corridors from the plaza to the stream running at the site’s edge. During rainstorms, they act as a channel that takes rain water from the Stack to the Stream. As the site faces slightly north, these walkways also act as sunlight corridors bring daylight through the village. Our opened view paths provide for connections to desirable open spaces, filled with natural vegetation and demonstration gardens.