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Auraria: CU Denver Academic Building One Update #2 (Inside the Infill Edition)

CU Denver’s new Academic Building One project has been moving along quickly since its groundbreaking in February 2013. Ryan did an update on the project in July as the building’s structure was topping out. Today, we have a special “Inside the Infill” update as I had a chance to take a hard-hat tour of the project a few days ago.

Here are some exterior shots showing that the building is well on its way to being finished. CU Denver’s new building will consolidate services for CU Denver students like financial aid, admissions, and the registrar’s office into one building (they’re currently scattered across several buildings on the campus), plus add new classrooms. First, the view from Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street looking west:

and the view from the opposite side of the building near 12th Street looking east:

Let’s head inside! The main lobby features stairs to the second floor and a big wall of glass facing Speer Boulevard:

In addition to a variety of spaces for student academic services, the ground floor also features a fast-casual restaurant space with a large outdoor patio along Larimer Street. Here’s a photo taken from the restaurant space overlooking its patio and skyline view:

The second floor on the Speer Boulevard side of the building features a huge glass wall that floods a student lounge and computing area with natural light…

… and offers stunning views of a portion of the Downtown skyline, including the Four Seasons tower and two other CU Denver buildings—the College of Architecture and Planning building at 14th and Larimer (center-left) and the Lawrence Street Center (center-right):

The building’s location at the corner of Speer and Larimer represents a continuation of Denver’s efforts to create a stronger connection between Downtown and the Auraria Campus. One of the seven transformative projects in the Downtown Area Plan is Connecting Auraria. Locating the new CU Denver building right up against the Speer and Larimer rights-of-way helps to close the gap in the urban fabric between the campus and Downtown and makes the walk across Speer Boulevard feel shorter.

The view from the west side of the building offers a nice look across the athletic fields at the historic Tivoli Student Union:

Finally, CU Denver Academic Building One includes several large lecture halls including what will be the largest lecture auditorium on the Auraria Campus capable of holding over 270 students:

CU Denver’s Academic Building One will open in August 2014 in time for the Fall semester.

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4 Comments

  1. Django says:

    This is really a beautiful looking building that greatly improves that stretch of Speer and that stone work on it looks terrific. Ps,whatever happened to the plan of remodeling the cu-denver building at 14th & larimer ?

  2. Jeffrey says:

    In the long run, university development in this part of town will add some needed youthful and (hopefully) studious academic life. Too bad it is across the busiest part of Speer, a boulevard that, itself, could use some light rail … all the way to Cherry Creek and Colorado Blvd. Still, all the Auraria development is a definite positive.

  3. Jeff says:

    It’s too bad Speer is not below grade here or even a tunnel.