New Health Sciences Building Breaks Ground in Colorado

By Roxanne Squires

AURORA, Colo. —  ZGF, in partnership with Anderson Mason Dale, is designing The Anschutz Health Sciences Building at the University of Colorado to be an integral and dynamic focal point of the campus, emboldening the campus as a leading medical care, research and educational facility.

Ground broke on the seven-story, 390,914-square-foot interdisciplinary building January 2019, serving as a beacon for the campus, and marking an entry point to the campus via the “artwalk” – a path connecting many campus buildings.

Key design elements include: facilities for computational research and clinical trials, a simulation education hub, mental health clinics, a data center, faculty offices, and other educational and amenity spaces to be shared by the campus.

Integration of exterior and interiors spaces with ledges and terraces that offer both spaces for collaboration and access to the outdoors.

Occupant wellness and biophilia strategies, including connection to outdoors and daylighting.

And lastly, a sky-lit atrium which serves as a central gathering space, promoting connection and collaboration across the multiple floors.

The facility supports multiple users, including researchers, faculty and staff, students and patients, and includes facilities for computational research and clinical trials, an educational medicalsimulation hub, mental/behavioral health research clinics, faculty offices, and other educational and amenity spaces to be shared by the campus.

The building’s structure takes its cues from the carved mass of the surrounding mountains and canyons in ode to Colorado’s regional identity and is expressed as a rich layering of plateaus and faces in the crystalline exterior palette of metal and glass.

The exterior architecture vernacular extends into the interior spaces, creating moments for occupants to interact between the interior and exterior environments with ledges and terraces that allow access to the outdoors and Colorado landscape views. 

Designers used parametric modeling to analyze the building envelope, daylighting and glazing performance and inform a rich compositional design approach that combines performance and beauty into a truly integrated design solution. A highly efficient heat recovery system will support the University’s energy goals, resulting in an approximate 60 percent energy reduction versus existing buildings, and 20 percent energy cost savings against current energy code.

The project is targeting LEED Gold v4 and is scheduled for completion in 2021.