The Anschutz Health Sciences Building at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will be an integral and dynamic focal point of the Campus, furthering its trajectory as one of the leading medical care, research, and education facilities in the world.

ZGF, in partnership with Anderson Mason Dale, is designing the seven-story, 390,914 SF interdisciplinary building on a gateway site at the western edge of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The building serves as a beacon, marking an entry point to the campus via the “artwalk” – a path connecting many campus buildings. The building program supports multiple users, including researchers, faculty and staff, students and patients, and includes facilities for computational research and clinical trials, an educational medical simulation hub, mental/behavioral health research clinics, faculty offices, and other educational and amenity spaces to be shared by the campus.

The building’s sculptural form takes its cues from the carved mass of the surrounding mountains and canyons integral 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. A sky lit atrium welcomes the outside into the building and serves as a central gathering space, promoting connection and collaboration across the multiple floors, and to the rest of campus. Occupant wellness is supported through biophilia strategies, including daylit spaces, landscape views, and native Colorado plants to create healing environments.

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% energy reduction versus existing buildings, and 20% energy cost savings against current energy code.

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