The University of Colorado Denver selected SmithGroup to design a new engineering, design, and computing building that will serve as anchor of new downtown innovation district. The project is part of a major goal of CU Denver’s visionary 2030 Strategic Plan to cultivate new technology, partnerships, programming, diverse talent, and in-demand jobs in one hub located in the heart of Denver, according to a university press release.
The building will support research in key areas like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and robotics. This work will be focused on areas where emerging technologies are transformative such as health, construction, manufacturing, cities, and space. Chancellor Michelle Marks said the project will bolster the Speer Boulevard corridor, and help create a more equitable engineering education and workforce talent pipeline.
Strategically Designed for Engineering, Design, & Computing
Martin Dunn, dean of the College of Engineering, Design and Computing (CEDC), said the building will be a gamechanger by serving students with cutting-edge facilities that support computing and design-oriented curricula and pedagogy. “This is essential as technology is changing faster than ever, and industry is asking engineers to do new types of work that require increased creativity, teamwork, and collaboration across disciplines,” Dunn said.
The university cited SmithGroup’s alignment with C.U. Denver’s values of diversity, equity, sustainability, and innovation for choosing the firm. SmithGroup aims to involve the campus and community in its planning process.
The firm will host a series of town halls to share updates and gather feedback. At the March design team kickoff meeting, Marks left SmithGroup representatives with a bold request: “I want you to do something bigger and better and different than anyone has done before.”
Construction is slated to begin in late 2022, with a planned opening before the start of the 2024-25 academic year.
Owner and/or developer: University of Colorado Denver
Design architect: SmithGroup
Architect of record: SmithGroup
MEP engineer: SmithGroup
Structural engineer: Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers
General contractor/construction manager: McCarthy Building Companies