Merit - SCUP Excellence in Architecture for a New Building

Colorado State University

The Pavilion at Laurel Village
Colorado State University - The Pavilion at Laurel Village
Jury Comments
“. . . went all out for sustainability . . . created smart social space . . . nice contemporary solution for campus . . . fits in and is of its time . . . used the architecture to create outdoor spaces . . . elevated buildings around it . . .”


    • Site – .5 acre; Building – 11,500 gsf / 9,000 asf
    • LEED Platinum
    • The U.S. Department of Education honored CSU through its Post Secondary Sustainability Awards.
    • The living slope, designed to engage students with the building in a new way, serves as a ski hill, natural feature, picnic area, and community gathering space.
    • The central gathering space, or “Agora,” is a multi-media gallery, indoor/outdoor social space, and digital classroom.
    • The Pavilion provides students with classrooms, lounge areas, study space, a mailroom, a bike shop, a game room, opportunities for indoor/outdoor connections, and several areas to host community events.
    • Outdoor amphitheater can accommodate hundreds and show movies on the side of the building.
    • The only known use of a passive “katabatic” cooling tower and trombe parapet combination to form a year-round passive climate control system for the building.


As a product of intimate collaboration with the College of Natural Sciences, Housing and Dining Services, and student groups, the Pavilion was designed to educate students and citizens through hands-on learning, thus creating a building that was itself a teaching tool; become the community “heart” of Laurel Village; revitalize an old residential district to fit modern student needs and provide flexibility for the future; and realize innovative ways to accomplish high-performance goals, drawing inspiration and innovation from context.

The Pavilion is home to the on-campus sustainability advocacy group, the Ecoleaders, whose members use the building both as meeting space and an example of the eco-conscious concepts they promote. Construction tours led by CNS and construction management programs show the community’s pride and investment in this building and fulfill the goals of the building as a teaching tool.

With its native stone, the Pavilion blends seamlessly with campus architecture while the katabatic tower, living slope, living wall, and exceptional design aesthetic with raw steel, reclaimed wood, and living greenery distinguish it as a signature element on campus. The immediately recognizable tower is a design solution adapted from collaborative research on existing passive towers, creating a solution that is at once elegant, effective, and a community landmark. Within a small footprint and with deep connections between the indoors and outdoors, the Pavilion seamlessly meets both academic and student life needs with versatile, flexible, beautiful spaces.

Project Team

4240 Architecture; also Ambient Energy; Cator, Ruma and Associates; Geiler & Associates; JVA, Inc.; KL&A, Inc.; Russell + Mills Studios