From Deserted Block to
What do you get when you combine a blank concrete canvas and a vision for Salt Lake City’s future? Ten-acres of potential.
Geared up with the goal to build a new micro-neighborhood on their recently-purchased super block, SLC developers Colmena Group and Kimball Investment Company came to AOR looking for a unique brand identity for their new mixed-use multi-family building and the super block district as a whole. One that would honor the gritty history of the block, not just pave over it—and would focus on creating an authentic, inclusive space, where nature, industry, and art come together to foster a sense of place and belonging for all who live, work, and play there.
Using Placemaking to Create
the New Place to Be
Thanks to our partnership with Tribe Development, AOR was uniquely brought onto the project in the early planning stages, prior to the finalizing of any site, building architecture, or design decisions. This opportunity allowed us to include our clients in our initial Discovery session, as well as the building architect, OZ Architecture, and the Property Management Group, Greystar. Having those teams present helped us dig deeper and develop a brand identity that would resonate with residents and tourists and have a lasting impact on the future of the city.
Despite having our site visit cancelled due to COVID-19, AOR didn’t miss a beat. Instead we powered up Zoom, took many walks on Google Maps, went to the ends of the internet researching, and drew strategic insights based on information from our two Discovery sessions. From here, we developed three thematic cornerstones—nature, industry, and art—that acted as our true north as we created an impactful and unparalleled brand identity and naming hierarchy for both the district and the new building located on the block.
Copper Yards and The Jetty
Not only is copper a beautiful art and architectural medium, it is also the state mineral of Utah and deeply ingrained into the culture and history of Salt Lake City. A little over ten years after SLC was founded, the townsfolk discovered a new source of income: copper. But it wasn’t until the railroad arrived that the large-scale mining operations were able to contribute to the industry of the city. Thanks to the railroad, Salt Lake City was able to create a copper mining industry that would push their city forward—and was the inspiration for the name of the newest, coolest district in SLC: Copper Yards.
After creating the brand identity for Copper Yards, the AOR team went on to create a visual brand identity for the mixed-use multi-family building: The Jetty. Inspired again by the coalition of nature, art, and industry, The Jetty is a nod to the famous earthworks sculpture by Robert Smithson located in the Great Salt Lake, Spiral Jetty. But this name also works metaphorically, as a jetty is defined as a “structure extended into a body of water to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor”. The Jetty and Copper Yards will be just that: a place of adventure—where visitors arrive to experience unique food and culture, and where residents jump off from to interact with the greater community.