Bureau of Land Management | California Trail Interpretive Center

  • $9.2M
  • 16,000 SF
  • 2008


  • 2001 Honor Award for
  • Planning and Urban Design
  • Colorado/ASLA

AMD provided programming and design services for a new interpretive center for the Bureau of Land Management. This facility presents the story of 300,000 pioneers who traveled the longest trek in U.S. history.

An east west curved wall, adopting the colors and texture of the hillside, forms the backdrop for a series of volumes housing specific interpretive exhibits.

Articulated in light colored metal panels and glazing systems, these volumes form a counterpoint to the more textured, sandstone-clad wall that is animated by the movement of the sun. Variation in this sandstone wall’s height, texture and detail will serve to mitigate its length and provide a visually kinetic surface. Vaulted roofs over these areas offer volume while animating the building elevation, paying homage to the wagon covers critical during the emigrant travels along the trail.

The building design, while alluding to the presence of wagon covers in the landscape, intentionally avoids overt mimicking of Trail history. While the contents of the building speak primarily to the stories of yester years, the building adopts a contemporary posture on the site and strives to acknowledge our presence in the 21st century.

Contact AMD

3198 Speer Boulevard
Denver Colorado 80211

303 294 9448
fax 303 294 0762


About AMD

We are a 50-person architectural firm located in Denver, Colorado. For over 40 years we have provided a full range of services including the planning, programming, and design of buildings for colleges, universities, schools, libraries, justice facilities, office buildings, cultural venues, and housing. We have twice been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ Firm Award “a distinguished body of work” and numerous local, regional and national design awards.

We believe architecture has the power to heighten human well-being and illuminate our cultural values. We are driven by a standard of excellence which provides the highest level of ethics and professionalism to our clients. We embrace thoughtful and responsible design in all aspects of our lives and we constantly strive to create buildings of architectural significance and responsibility.

Our work is developed within a collaborative atmosphere which cultivates research, analysis, and deliberation into judicious decision-making at all levels. Vigorous exploration of client goals is coupled with a detailed examination of their functional needs. This understanding is artfully transformed into three-dimensional space which inspires the daily life within the building. Physical patterns and the cultural fabric of each place are carefully studied to appropriately respond to each site’s unique physical and social context. Materials and systems are selected which respect and sustain our planet and the thoughtful expression of building craft and technology are economically integrated to bring the defining statement of character and identity for each of our clients.

AMD Staff
  • Paul S. Haack, AIA
  • Andrew G. Nielsen, FAIA
  • David C. Pfeifer, AIA
  • Joey Carrasquillo, AIA
  • John D. Graham, AIA
  • Ronald L. Mason, FAIA
  • John D. Anderson, FAIA
  • Curt F. Dale, FAIA
  • Cathy Bellem, AIA
  • Ben Blanchard, AIA
  • John Everin, AIA
  • Erin Hillhouse, AIA
  • David E. Houston, AIA
  • Suzanne Dupée Minear, AIA
  • Kristin O’Connell, Assoc AIA
  • Cynthia Ottenbrite, AIA
  • James R. Taylor, AIA
  • Dan Bishop, AIA
  • Stephan Hall, AIA
  • Peter Koehler, AIA
  • Ryan Lutz, AIA
  • Jenna Michieli, AIA
  • Michael Stesney, AIA
  • Todd Swarts, AIA
  • Kristina Winn, AIA
  • Julie Zurakowski, AIA