University of Colorado Boulder | Cristol Chemistry Addition and Renovation

  • $3.4M
  • 29,000 SF
  • 1990


  • 1990 Honor Award
  • American Institute of Architects
  • Denver Chapter
  • 1991 Historic Preservation Award
  • Historic Boulder

The Chemistry additions house the nationally recognized Biochemistry Department, headed by Nobel Laureate Dr. Thomas Cech, in a facility which carefully fits into a complex and limited site on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus.

The programmatic requirements consisted of classrooms, research laboratories, offices, and an auditorium-type lecture hall for 180 people. In addition, the Department required a crystallography lab with associated support facilities, darkrooms and a computer area.

The architectural character was established by a rich variety of surrounding buildings and the campus vernacular.

By using the predominant materials of the context and echoing its rhythms and proportions, the building achieves a meaningful harmony with the adjacent buildings while asserting a strong presence on the public space as deserved by the excellence of the research program.

The phased projects included the complex renovations of existing laboratory spaces to met the current requirements of laboratory and research space. This project also included complete upgrades of the life safety systems.

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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