Founded after General Ent in 1957 to serve the Air Force population of Colorado Springs, Ent Credit Union has grown to be the state’s largest credit union with more than 500,000 owner-members and more than 55 Front Range Locations. Ent’s growth has been so explosive, that in 2019 they purchased a twenty-seven-acre site in north Colorado Springs where they, and developer Shea Properties, would commission a master-planned campus totaling one million square feet across five buildings. Denver-based Acquilano Inc. (interior architecture) and Davis Partnership (core/shell architecture) were engaged to collaboratively design the first building.
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Size: 325,000 SF
Contractor: GE Johnson
Professional Partners: Shea Properties, Davis Partnership, ME Engineers, Ricca, S.A. Miro, Elements, Workplace Resource
Photography: Frank Ooms
As the first facility on the site, the design had to accommodate the campus’ needs for reception, member contact area, café, cafeteria, dining, flexible training rooms, fitness center, locker rooms, board room, and office space to accommodate a headcount capacity of 1,100+ employees.
The amenitized entry and lower levels are both free access to member-owners, employees, and their families – another example of Ent’s commitment to serving the Colorado Springs community.
Room with a View
The panoramic views are most impressive, and the design team took every opportunity to showcase it. Tiered seating and the mezzanine overhead ensure great dining views where you can witness Air Force cadets and hobbyist gliders soaring along the Front Range – enjoying the scene through 20’ high structural glass.
“Blurring of the division between interior and exterior is best showcased along the promenade where exterior grade falls and gives way to a world class corporate dining facility inside with protected views of Pikes Peak that are second-to-none. Here you can witness the interplay of form and material along the building’s envelope.”
– Jill Taylor, Acquilano
“We wanted to build a high-quality place where we can attract and retain the best talent — that is the biggest challenge we face. We are a service organization, so our service is only as good as our people we hire and the training we give them.”
– Rich Sholes, Chief Experience Officer at Ent
Ent’s full-service commercial kitchen was designed to provide seven distinct stations, each serving fresh meals on-site at a high value for the growing population. Front and center, the 360-degree Give Back Garden offers made-to-order salads and soups. For those seeking something hot, the Front Range Grille station features popular items such as Nashville Hot Chicken, Bison Burgers and Cajun Fries. No time? Grab-n-go take home plates are also available for employees on the run!
The kitchen is complete with a dishwashing station and capable of catering food and drink for meetings campus wide.
“There’s space for everyone! You can bask in the sun, retreat to the raised seating area, or enjoy the views in solitude from the mezzanine. There’s even space for your team to have a working luncheon.”
– Drew Marlow, Acquilano
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