Do you remember taking your first tour at UCCS and hearing about the old sanitorium building, or how old Main Hall is?
Take a walk on campus. Take note of what you see. Our campus is filled with history and even now, we are still surrounded by that culture. Each building has its own story. There is a purpose with the design from the original architect.
Frank Cunha III, a University Architect, spoke about how architects work towards designing a campus and what they vow to be the most important values to make a welcoming location. He provided his take on eight different criteria.
“It is important to remember that the architecture is there to support the university’s goals and not necessarily overshadow the main objectives of the institution,” he said.
The three criteria that spoke to me the most were identity, connection and sustainability. UCCS maintains the historical buildings so history can continue to “speak” to students and alumni.
Some could argue that our buildings aren’t designed well together; they don’t match. The reality is with buildings need maintenance, and sometimes the only option is to tear it down and rebuild.
With Colorado Springs growing and more people moving in, enrollment rates could rise, which means campus will grow too. More innovations will be made to accommodate the space needed and we are in the era where places will begin to be more modernized, including our campus.
Despite the opportunities for new architects to come in and make modern designs, they make a point to keep the buildings that bring the most meaning to students, staff and the community.
The campus location on a hill with acres of space made it possible to stretch out the locations of the buildings and not have everything crowded, where new growth would become overwhelming.
UCCS is a beautiful campus that will continue to be enriched with historic and modern cultures. The architects hired for UCCS did their job and future architects will keep this history when remodeling to continue meeting the needs.
Columbine Hall on central campus. Photo by Kira Thorne.