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.
New development on Downtown Denver’s Auraria campus continues with the groundbreaking this week of a new University of Colorado Denver facility, currently referred to as UCD Academic Building One. A permanent name will eventually be given to the $60 million building in time for its completion in August 2014.
This is the fifth new building constructed on the Auraria campus within the past few years. Despite the recent recession and decreasing funding for higher education from the state, the Auraria Higher Education Center and its three institutions: the University of Colorado Denver, the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver, have managed to find ways to partner with the private sector and/or otherwise secure funding for new facilities outside of the state’s general fund. The recent Auraria building boom has been critical in helping the campus and its institutions struggle to keep up with expanding student enrollments. Even more buildings for the campus are planned for the future.
The new UCD Academic Building One will include 146,000 gross square feet of space designated for student affairs, financial services, admissions, and the registrar’s office, and some new classrooms for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Once the new building is complete, space currently used for those functions in other buildings will be remodeled to accommodate new classrooms and other academic uses.
Here’s a GoogleEarth image (left) showing the building’s key location at the corner of Speer and Larimer, and a drawing (right) of the project’s site plan, courtesy of UCD:
The following images, courtesy of project architect Anderson Mason Dale, show various perspectives of the new building:
For more information on the project, including videos about the building and the groundbreaking ceremony, click here to go to the UCD Communications website.
Today we will be covering yet another completed project over at the Auraria Campus. The Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center by Metropolitan State University is complete and open for students and visitors. Here at DenverInfill, we have covered this project very actively and even got an inside look when it was under construction. Click on the links below to follow this development start to finish!
Auraria Update: Hotel Learning Center
Auraria Update: Hotel & Hospitality Learning Center
Auraria Projects Update
Auraria Projects Update #2
Inside the Infill: Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center
Auraria Projects Update #3
Here is an overall look of the development from the backside. For being located in Auraria, the scale of this project is larger than most of the buildings around it and, just like the Student Success center, it is architecturally unique with setbacks, different colored brick and a more modern glass design.
Now we’re going to take a walk around Auraria Parkway. This building adds a very nice street wall and since it is pushed right up to the property line, the building curves with the road maintaining the wall effect. The landscaping along the sidewalk is very appealing and the building provides a very welcoming feel with the glass walls along the road.
Just like the Student Success center, there are long hallways with glass walls. This provides great natural light and cuts down on lighting costs. Not to mention, it breaks up the facade and looks neat!
Time to walk under the hallway and into the courtyard. Here you can see a lighter color of brick being used along with a different pattern of glass. You will also be able to park or valet your car in one of the 75 structured parking spaces. The parking system is very easy with a quick in and out system. There is also a common patio area for students and guests to meet outside and enjoy our Colorado air.
This LEED-Certified project includes 150 guest rooms as well as classroom space for students perusing a hospitality major at Metropolitan State University. This development is a great start for completing the Auraria master plan and a great new building for the university. This is the first hotel at Auraria and its great for students coming out of state to stay right on the downtown campus.
Since my last update in April, the Community College of Denver’s Student Learning and Engagement Building has made quick and significant progress. In the past months, the structure has topped out and the brick facade has been crawling up the building at a rapid pace.
This building blends in very well with the typical Auraria architecture and building heights. The only difference are the ‘green’ aspects being used in this building; chilled beams, radiant floors, and a green roof.
This building has quite the presence in the sea of parking it is seated in. An important project for filling in a gap helping recreate an urban feel at Auraria. When riding on the light rail towards campus, the Learning and Engagement Building almost creates a street wall along Colfax making the Auraria campus feel more filled and closed in.
Here is a mock-up of what the exterior is going to look like. It’s very similar to the other buildings on campus which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The Student Learning and Engagement Building is expected to be complete by the summer session of 2013. It’s always nice to see another parking lot filled around the Auraria campus.
Over at Auraria, the Metro State University Student Success Center is complete and open for the students. You can follow its progress from start to completion right here!
Auraria Update: Metro State Student Success Building
Metro State Student Success Building Design
Metro State Student Success Building Groundbreaking
Auraria Projects Update
Auraria Projects Update #2
Auraria Projects Update #3
The 4-story, 145,000 square foot building will be used for student support / administrative services such as registration and student success as the name of the building suggests. This building breaks the mold from the other buildings at Auraria in every aspect. It’s glassy, has more cutting edge architecture, and it isn’t comprised of red brick.
The Student Success center has a great street presence on Auraria Parkway while also creating great street wall. Originally the campus was built to be isolated from Downtown Denver with buildings facing inwards and lawns for the edges. Now these buildings are outward facing recreating the urban fabric between downtown and Auraria.
This is the first step in the Metro State’s neighborhood plan. The plan calls for a landscaped quad along with six buildings in this area. What a great start to reconnecting our urban fabric on the North side of Auraria.
Back on January 12th, 2012 the Community College of Denver broke ground on their own Student Learning and Engagement building. This is a very similar idea to what Metro State did with their Student Success Center. This development will be a 4-story, 87,000 square foot building located on the corner of 7th Street and West Colfax Avenue.
Basic structure work is being completed. The elevator cores appear to be topped out. In the picture on the right you can see the steel that is lined up ready to be put in place on the building. Always a neat sight when a building is just getting off the ground.
None of the true building’s elements are showing but for only being three months in, quite the progress has been made. The rooms will also have a great view of the Denver skyline. Just from the ground you can see that there is a pretty unobstructed view.
This building is designed by OZ Architects as well as Boora Architects (renderings can be found by clicking the Boora link) with construction performed by G. H. Phipps. This will be home to Community College of Denver’s admissions, registration, financial aid, a testing center, the cashiers office, advising, and their own student success program. No details have been released about LEED certification but the college is being rewarded a $100,000 energy rebate for having ‘green’ elements such as chilled beams, radiant floors, and a green roof. They are expected to be completed with this project by summer session of 2013.