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University of Colorado, Boulder – Center for Academic Success + Engagement

University of Colorado, Boulder – Center for Academic Success + Engagement

The Center for Academic Success and Engagement creates a new front door to the University of Colorado’s flagship Boulder campus.  This multi-use, student services building brings together admissions, advising, veterans affairs and pre-college outreach while showcasing the CU Boulder experience to prospective students.

The unique design of CASE solves a campus circulation problem created by a large, in-ground parking structure that had been a barrier between a major transit stop and the heart of campus for 27 years.  Students were forced to circumvent the parking structure by moving either through a busy loading zone or along a narrow sidewalk.  By constructing the new building directly on the parking structure and integrating a new campus pathway that climbs to the elevated first floor, the challenging site is transformed into an inviting gateway.

Our design splits the building in two, carving through CASE to connect the landscaped campus to the urban setting of Boulder.  A monumental stair amplifies the public’s entry experience from the street side while a rolling landscaped berm gently spills out into the campus beyond. Smooth, lightly-hued cementitious panels define this distinctive gateway and contrast the building’s rough sandstone exterior, while bridges connect the east and west building masses and provide glimpses of interior activity.

Inside, prospective and enrolled students ascend a wood-clad ribbon staircase through a light-filled three-level atrium to reach the admissions auditorium and an array of student services offices, classrooms and informal study areas.  The journey culminates at the building’s expansive outdoor terrace, a pre-tour gathering spot offering stunning views of the nearby Flatiron mountain range.

Location

Boulder, CO

Client

University of Colorado, Boulder

Year

2018

Status

Built

Type

Higher Education

Size

115,000

Collaborators

GH Phipps
OZ Architects
Martin/Martin
Cator Ruma
The Shalleck Collaborative
Surface Design
Mundus Bishop
Steve Maylone

Recognitions

LEED Gold

USGBC Mountain Region Community Champion Award