Food brings students together–so do breathtaking views. At the University of Colorado Boulder, campus leaders combine these two magnets to create the new Village Center-Dining & Community Commons, a multifaceted project with views of the Flatiron Mountains designed to create a much-needed space for students to come home to in Williams Village. A short fifteen minute walk from the main campus, Williams Village offers an existing tight-knit community but lacks a modern dining facility, student service spaces, and a place for students to claim as their own. KSQ was given the unique opportunity to participate in bringing about the realization of the village model and designing its symbolic heart and center piece.
The project–currently under construction–involved the demolition of the 46 year-old Darley Commons. Darley was an iconic building in its time, but was in need of modern amenities the existing building could not accommodate. The demolition took place six months ago and was captured in a time-lapse video:
In 1918 Architect Charles Klauder was commissioned by the University to bring harmony to the campus by developing a unique University of Colorado architectural style using local sandstone and heavily influenced by Boulder’s mountain scenery. This Tuscan vernacular dominates the CU-Boulder main campus while Williams Village does not strictly adhere to the architectural style found on the main campus. In Williams Village the 1960’s iconic Darley and Stearns residential towers of amber colored brick provide a strikingly different image for Williams Village with the design of nearby residential buildings more aligned with the style of the main campus.
KSQ was tasked with designing a building complementary of the modernist towers, the Klauder-esque architecture of the Williams Village campus, and the true Klauder architecture of the main campus. KSQ went through a discovery process with CU to arrive at a design compatible with the existing Williams Village architecture while capturing the essence of the main campus.
Designed to capture both the captivating views of the Flatirons and student life on campus, the building is as much about the connections that will happen inside its walls as those that will happen outside in many of the new and existing beautiful outdoor spaces that surround the Village Center- Dining & Community Commons.
At nearly 100,000 SF the new building will provide students with an abundance of dining opportunities from micro-restaurants on the second level to a late night destination restaurant and grab n’ go options on the first level.
Beyond dining, much needed amenities for the Williams Village community including a health clinic, mail and shipping services are included in the programming.
KSQ’s client is CU-Boulder’s Housing and Dining Services, and the design-build construction is in partnership with GE Johnson.
Village Center-Dining & Community Commons is scheduled to open for students in January 2017. Subscribe to The Garret to find out more about this project, and check out the live web cam on the project site here.