Student Commons Building

A social hub and gateway building designed and programmed to connect students with campus, city life, and learning.

156,000 SF


Denver, CO


2016 Award of Merit, AIA Colorado

University of Colorado Denver

The Student Commons is a gateway building that is designed in dialogue with the Auraria campus and Downtown Denver. A social hub for the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver,) the building houses lecture halls, academic office spaces, consolidated Student Services and Affairs functions, and a Welcome Center that serves as a first impression of campus.

The design and program of the new facility is informed by student body and campus community outreach and in-put. Community open houses were held to solicit a broad range of feedback from students, faculty, and broader campus constituents, resulting in the inclusion of public-facing spaces that promote CU Denver’s vibrant community while highlighting the University’s presence within the downtown landscape.

The building's composition of vertical and horizontal elements, such as sheltering soffits and a large vertical lantern illuminated at night, negotiate the campus and urban context. The program organization and stacking within the building leverages public spaces to activate the ground level while creating porosity between the campus’s network of indoor/outdoor spaces. Along the building’s urban edge, a large wall of glazing provides glimpses from downtown into a two-story space that showcases student life and events, animating the building’s purpose as a social hub.  

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