Brown Hall Addition and Renovation

A transformative addition, renovation, and landscape design project that puts science on display while facilitating pedestrian campus movement and interaction.

78,000 SF Addition | 20,000 SF Renovation


Golden, CO

2012 Merit Award, American Institute of Architects, Colorado

2012 Peoples’ Choice, American Institute of Architects, Denver

Colorado School of Mines

Brown Hall is home to the school’s Engineering Division. The Engineering programs at School of Mines are focused on hands-on, project-based learning. The project includes shops for building physical prototypes, computer labs for testing digital models, conversation nooks and galleries for encouraging discourse, and presentation spaces for presenting solutions to fellow students. The project also includes research lab space, classrooms, offices, and a significant site component transforming two city blocks of street into pedestrian promenade.

The original Brown Hall was an inward-focused building that revealed little of the exciting work occurring within its walls. “Making science visible” was a key concept for the addition and renovation. Laboratories have transparent walls adjacent to the pedestrian promenade. Robotics and Energy Conversion labs, designated as showcase labs display robot and engine experiments.

Located at the heart of the student services precinct of campus, directly adjacent to the campus recreation center and student union, the project includes the transformation of two city blocks of existing street into pedestrian-oriented plaza space. Along this edge, an architectural porch is created as a place where the academic activity of the complex mixes with the public activity along the promenade. A continuous glass wall with integral sliding doors allows people to seamlessly pass between the promenade and porch, further connecting the building’s life and showcase programs and outcomes with the broader campus community.

The original Brown Hall was an inward-focused building that belied little of the exciting work occurring within its walls. A key concept for the addition and renovation was to make science visible.

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