Lola and Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center

The culmination of a student-led initiative, the Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art facility that expands the definition of wellness to encompass spaces for physical and mental health.

85,000 SF


Denver, CO


2019 NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facility Awards

University of Colorado Denver

In April 2015, in an effort led by CU Denver’s Student Government Association, students voted in record numbers to pass a measure to increase student fees to fund a new student wellness center, approved in tandem by the CU Board of Regents. The realized building reflects a collective student vision and generous donor-funded state-of-the-art wellness facility that approaches wellness through the lens of physical and mental health. In addition to fitness facilities, the building has meditation rooms, a teaching kitchen, and resting areas designed to support the human dimensions of being Spiritual, Social, Emotional, Intellectual, Physical, Financial, Sustainable, Diverse, Inclusive and Creative.

Located at a highly visible urban and campus intersection in close proximity to Downtown Denver, the building is designed around a central, iconic interior space and circulation spine aligned with Walnut Street, linking the building’s architecture to the campus “grain.” Along the building’s urban edge, a multi-story climbing spanning the building’s upper levels is enclosed in curtain wall, serving as a dynamic billboard of activity to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The building also features fitness spaces, a 6 lane, 25-yard lap pool, 3 court gymnasium, and other notable features that expand the definition of “wellness” beyond physical fitness. A “commuter haven” student lounge provides students that do not live on campus with a dedicated place to work, rest, and recharge, eliminating the stress of finding a temporary landing pad between classes. The new building is already well-loved by students and has become an important landmark and amenity within the campus fabric, demonstrating how student-led initiatives have the potential to create long-term, impactful results within a campus community.

In collaboration with SmithGroup

This is the legacy we will be leaving the university, and future students will know that this is now the heart and soul of our campus...

Alex Pong
former SGA Presdient

This project began as a conversation between student leaders, in a van, returning from a camping trip. They recognized a growing sense of identity within a student body and began to define a vision for wellness that could dramatically enhance campus life, further the university's academic mission to shape and encourage balanced, focused students, and build an enduring community.

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