University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work, Craig Hall

Denver, Colorado

For 30 years, the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work had occupied a former apartment building constructed in the 1940s. In addition to expanding and upgrading the facility, the university wanted to create a “bricks and mortar” representation of its guiding principles. Achieving these objectives within the existing 9-foot, 4-inch floor-to-floor height ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$156.00FEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas be tremendous.

The school’s primary programming requirements were to foster interaction among all who entered the space and to design an interior/exterior common area that could act as the core of the community with both formal and informal spaces.

To address these issues, the architect placed all classroom space at the perimeters, faculty offices along the corridors and all circulation directed to the common areas. The corridors are filled with glass openings, creating high visibility among faculty and students. The exterior plaza also has a classroom with seating in the round and serves as a conduit for exchange between the Graduate School of Social Work and community.

After the renovation and 15,000-square-foot expansion, the building reflects a welcoming aesthetic, an improvement critical to attracting new students to the university’s program.