So Much More Than a Name

To celebrate McKay Landing's proximity to McKay Lake, Downing, Thorpe & James designed a duck insignia to help establish a Western waterfront theme and create a colorful, continuous focal point within the community.

By Meghan Haynes, Assistant Editor | September 30, 2002
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To celebrate McKay Landing's proximity to McKay Lake, Downing, Thorpe & James designed a duck insignia to help establish a Western waterfront theme and create a colorful, continuous focal point within the community.

 

"After a while, other communities all blend together," says Thomas Kopf, associate and senior planner/landscape architect at Downing, Thorpe & James. "The days with just a big wall at the community's entrance with the name of the builder and neighborhood are gone. It doesn't give the spirit or sense of the community. Community icon making reinforces the special nature of the community's theme and gives a credible story for the community's existence in the buyer's mind. In McKay Landing, we didn't destroy what created the community, mainly its proximity to the lake."

The first phase of homes in McKay Landing is 95% sold. On average, the homes have moved at 30-plus per month. For Kopf, the attention to detail and emphasis on design have set McKay Landing apart in the customers' eyes, especially when he looks at a nearby development that has bigger lots, bigger homes and the same prices, but isn't selling as fast.

"Builders are reluctant to invest in community vision because they've never done it before, and it's hard to do and takes more thought," says Kopf. "We encourage our builders to take every opportunity to support a community theme through the intangible ways, beyond advertising and signage."

 

Community Profile
Community: McKay Landing, Broomfield, Colo.
Architect: Downing, Thorpe & James
Branding Elements: Monument sign at main entrance; three scaled-down transition walls on the development's edges; 11 neighborhood-identifying stone columns; bronze statue of ducks landing into reeds to anchor the recreation center (not pictured)
Cost: $25,000 budget for main entrance; $5,000 for each small transition wall; $3,000 to $3,500 for each small column; $35,000 for fully commissioned bronze sculpture
Formula: Community icon making

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