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Archive of posts filed under the Auraria category.

Auraria: MSU 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 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 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.

New Auraria Project: CU Denver Academic Building One

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 CU Denver 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 CU Denver 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 CU Denver:


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 CU Denver Communications website.

Metropolitan State University: Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center Final Update

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.