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CU Boulder Center for Academic Success + Engagement

Boulder, CO

CU Boulder Center for Academic Success + Engagement

Boulder, CO

What a building, and what a perfect admissions spot. We could not be happier. Today was the first day we had prospective students and parents, and they were in awe of the space. Thank you so much for your long hours, tremendous expertise, and your passion for creating such a beautiful new space.

Kevin MacLennan, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Enrollment

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.





USGBC Mountain Region Community Champion Award


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