City and County of Denver


Denver Police Department Crime Lab

Denver, Colorado

60,000 GSF, 5,575 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning, Programming

Sustainable Programs
LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations (NC) LEED-NC-Gold

Awards for Construction Excellence - Best Building Project ($2 Million - $6 Million) Subcontractor, Awards for Construction Excellence - Best Building Project - Sub ($2-6 Million), Publication Award

View All Awards

“This new crime laboratory and its state-of-the-art technology will better serve our investigators and ultimately the entire Denver community.”

—Michael Hancock, Denver Mayor


For justice to be done, it needs room. Previously confined to 14,000 square feet in police headquarters, the Denver Crime Laboratory Bureau lacked sufficient training space and even enough room to manage paperwork for up to 16,000 cases per year. The Durrant/SmithGroupJJR team delivered a forensic facility more than five times larger, simultaneously addressing past constraints through careful planning and communication among stakeholders.

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 design does more than add space and flexibility, however: It adds unique features such as an elevated catwalk in the photography lab – providing a vertical view of evidence as it is photographed – and a virtual tour feature. A video, which plays in the auditorium, gives a simulated tour through the various areas of the facility including highly secure portions—ensuring protection but not concealment.

Related Content

Denver Crime Lab Tour
View the old facility and then the new to see how the upgraded facility improves services.

Forensic Laboratory 2030
A four-part article that reveals how forensic laboratories might be designed in the future

SmithGroupJJR Forensic Science Experience
Our work includes more than 30 years and seven million square feet of forensic projects.
Icon-pdf Forensic Experience Matrix