Denver Public Schools | Swigert-McAuliffe International School

  • $15M
  • 102,000 SF
  • 2011
  • design-build
  • LEED Silver

The Swigert-McAuliffe International School serves a Denver community in dire need of additional instructional space, providing an E-8 program with 40 classrooms, administrative offices, cafeteria with commercial-grade kitchen and gymnasium. Flexibility allows for future changes within the school curriculum, population and focus, providing for re-alignment with the needs of the growing community. Creation of distinct neighborhoods for ECE/Kindergarten and Elementary/Middle school students provides appropriate social conditions within the school, while mitigating circulation patterns along the site.

The site development was conceived as a comprehensive learning landscape: the history of the site as the city’s airport inspired a navigation theme, with the school courtyard bearing an image of the globe whose longitude and latitude grid structure program areas and plantings; the primary turf playfield is circumscribed by a native grass/wildflower zone reflective of the nearby eastern plains, with a crusher fine trail allowing for class walks; an urban plaza along the site’s western edge serves as the primary student collector for bus and parent drop-off and the 3-story wing poses an urban face along Syracuse Street.

A wetland area occupies the northern edge of the site, directing storm water along a vegetated bio-swale that feeds into a water quality/detention pond that serves as an outdoor environmental education classroom. Stapleton stone – recycled concrete from the old airport runways – is introduced along the edges of the pond to support classroom activity.

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