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Archive of posts filed under the Auraria category.

Auraria: MSU Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building Update #3

In our last update on MSU Denver’s new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building in May, the steel skeleton of the structure was taking shape. Since then, much of the facade has been installed.

Here’s a 360-degree tour of the new building’s construction progress.

At the corner of Auraria Parkway and 7th Street looking east:


From 7th and Walnut looking north:


From the MSU neighborhood square looking west:


Near 9th and Auraria Parkway looking south:


Let’s conclude with a few renderings, courtesy of MSU Denver and Anderson Mason Dale. These are quite similar to the ones we presented in our initial post on the project in 2015, but represent what appears to be the final design.




The new MSU Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building appears to be on track for its planned Fall 2017 opening.

Auraria: CU Denver Wellness Center Update #1

With today’s official groundbreaking ceremony, the CU Denver Wellness Center is under construction!

Utility relocation work occurred at the development site at the corner of Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway earlier in the summer in preparation for construction. For the past month or so, the project site—formerly a surface parking lot—has been fenced off awaiting today’s start of construction. Here’s a photo I took of the site a few weeks ago:

According to the University’s webpage dedicated to the new facility, the new CU Denver Wellness Center will offer a variety of amenities including:

  • Commuter lounge featuring a student kitchen, coffee shop, wellness information desk, lockers, study rooms, game rooms, and a lounge areas
  • Wellness suite with consultation, conference and reflection rooms
  • Fitness center that includes a three-court gymnasium, a six-lane lap pool, a 10,000-square foot cardio and weight room, three-story rock-climbing wall, two group fitness studios, and locker rooms
  • Outdoor amenities featuring social spaces and a bike repair shop

The CU Denver Wellness Center will cost about $42 million and is being paid for primarily by student fees approved by CU Denver students in a 2015 election.

We have some new renderings to share with you, courtesy of CU Denver. The project was designed by Anderson Mason Dale and SmithGroupJJR.

12th Street elevation looking east:


Aerial view looking southwest, with the Speer Boulevard/Auraria Parkway intersection at center foreground and the recently completed CU Denver Commons building on the left and the MSU Hospitality Center and Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel on the right:


Sidewalk-level view of the center’s Speer/Auraria corner at night with the rock-climbing wall on display:


The new CU Denver Wellness Center should be completed in time to open for the Spring 2018 semester.


Auraria: MSU Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building Update #2

Construction of Metro State’s new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is moving along nicely. In our Update #1 in February, excavation for the structure was underway.

Below are a few photos from this past weekend. First, the view looking northwest across the MSU neighborhood green:


Gap between the new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building and the existing MSU Denver Student Success Building:


Close-up of the building’s southwest corner along 7th Street:


From across Auraria Parkway, the building’s north face:


New Auraria street wall developing along Auraria Parkway:


This project is schedule for completion in 2017.

Auraria: MSU Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building Update #1

The Metropolitan State University of Denver new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is under construction!

Excavation recently started for the 142,000, four-story facility at 7th and Auraria Parkway. Check out our first post on this project for renderings and more.

I stopped by the site the other day and snapped these photos:



It’s great to see Auraria continuing to grow! The new facility is on pace for a 2017 opening.

New Auraria Project: CU Denver Wellness Center

Thanks to CU Denver students, a new building is coming to Downtown Denver’s Auraria Campus that will anchor the corner of Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway.

The new CU Denver Wellness Center will contain approximately 85,000 square feet of space and cost approximately $42 million. The facility will include weight and fitness studios, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, wellness and information center, training and assessment rooms, social lounge, locker rooms, a multi-activity court, and a 6-lane indoor swimming pool. Here is a Google Earth aerial showing the proposed building’s location at the Speer/Auraria corner in between the new CU Student Commons Building and the MSU Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center/Springhill Suites Hotel:


This graphic, from the CU Denver video noted below, shows the building site plan and adjacent buildings:


The project was initiated by CU Denver students and will be funded primarily by student fees approved by CU Denver students in a recent election. For a complete overview of the genesis of the project and the inspiring story about how the CU Denver students convinced the CU Regents to support the project, please read this article by Chris Casey of the CU Denver University Communications office. Another great resource about the project is the project’s webpage on the CU Denver Office of Student Life website and this video from that webpage:

The following images are all screenshots I captured from the video. Please note that the building has not yet been officially designed. These renderings represent design concepts used for project scoping and cost estimating purposes, not the proposed architectural design. But they do give us a good sense of the scale and general layout of the building. It appears from the project’s webpage that credit for these design images go to Brailsford & Dunlavey and SmithGroupJJR.

12th Street elevation looking towards Downtown:


Courtyard passage below rooftop public space:


Auraria Parkway elevation:


Speer/Auraria corner:


Courtyard between the Wellness Center and the CU Denver Student Commons Building looking toward the Tivoli Student Union:


Finally, here’s a view of the Speer/Auraria corner where the building will be located. I took this shot from the CU Denver building at 14th and Larimer where I work at the College of Architecture and Planning:


According to the preliminary schedule, construction would begin in 2016 with completion set for January 2018.

Congratulations to the CU Denver students for their leadership and initiative in developing this exciting project!

New Auraria Project: MSU Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building

Downtown Denver’s steadily growing Auraria Campus is about to get another new building: the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building.

Slated for the southeast corner of Auraria Parkway and 7th Street, the new $70 million academic facility will feature 142,000 square feet in four floors. Here’s a Google Earth image with the site outlined in yellow:


Metro State’s new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is critical to help Colorado remain a national leader in the aerospace sector. According to the Metro Denver EDC, Colorado ranks third in the country behind California and Florida in the space economy, and metro Denver ranks first in the nation in total private-sector aerospace employment. The new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building consolidates the university’s aviation and aerospace-related programs into a state-of-the-art facility for training workers skilled in advanced aerospace design, manufacturing, and assembly. Here are some images of the project, courtesy of Anderson Mason Dale Architects:

North elevation along Auraria Parkway, with the recently completed MSU Student Success Center‘s cantilevered wing visible to the left:


West elevation with Auraria Parkway on the left and 7th Street in the foreground:


South elevation looking northeast:


South and east elevations looking northwest:


Construction should begin later this year, with completion set for 2017.

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.

Auraria: CU Denver Academic Building One Update #1

Back in February we announced a new project going along Speer Boulevard at the Auraria Campus. Titled CU Denver Academic Building One, this 146,000 square foot building has been making quick progress! Let’s take a look!

With little excavation needed and no underground parking, the structure has risen very quickly and has almost topped out. That’s only 5 months from announcement to where it is today!


This CU Denver Academic Building will be designated for student affairs, financial services, admissions, the registrar’s office, and new classrooms for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Completion is expected August 2014.

New Auraria Project: AHEC 5th Street Parking Facility

Downtown Denver’s Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) has been undergoing a construction boom in the past few years, with Metro State University’s Hotel & Hospitality Learning Center and Student Success Center, Community College of Denver’s Confluence Building, and University of Colorado Denver’s Academic Building One adding to the Downtown scene. Now, another new Auraria campus project is about to get underway.

At the western edge of the Auraria campus, the proposed AHEC 5th Street Parking Facility is in the works. This new 1,100-space, five-story parking structure will occupy a site that’s currently a surface parking lot and will provide parking capacity to replace the surface lots removed due to the construction of the above-mentioned new buildings. The 5th Street Parking Facility is part of the implementation of the AHEC Master Plan which envisions the eventual replacement of all surface parking lots on campus with parking garages. Here’s the site:

The development is only a block north of RTD’s Auraria West Campus transit station, so of particular importance is the fact that this project will include ground-floor retail (approximately 15,000-sf) on its 5th Street and Larimer Street sides. Larimer Street runs along the southern side of this project—currently just a parking lot drive aisle—but it’s envisioned to be re-established in the future as a street/transit corridor to connect with the existing segment of Larimer Street on the eastern side of the campus that runs from the Tivoli to Speer Boulevard and into Lower Downtown. (That big parking garage to the east of this site will have to be “modified” in the future to make that happen.)

Below is a rendering of the AHEC 5th Street Parking Facility, courtesy of Denver-based Pahl Architects, looking at the 5th and Larimer Street corner:

The expected completion date of the project is Summer 2014.