Topping Out: Hydro Building on CSU Spur Campus

Rendering of Hydro courtesy of HCM.

The HYDRO building, one of three new facilities located on the CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center, will top out this week. The ceremony, when the final steel beam is placed on the Hydro structure, will take place at noon on September 16. Attendees may watch via live stream on social media or can register to attend the event in person and sign the beam prior to it being lifted into place.

Hydro is designed by Hord Coplan Macht and SmithGroup. JE Dunn is the general contractor. The new facility will open in November 2022.

The 122,000-square-foot HYDRO building will offer a unique user experience in a one-of-a-kind facility. Inspired by the flowing nature of water, the building invites the public into the large entry lobby, connecting three levels via a spiral “river eddy” stair to a bridge on the 3rd floor. This bridge connects the HYDRO building to the CSU TERRA building located on the opposite side of National Western Drive. HCM designed HYDRO to maximize outdoor open space and preserve the historic McConnell Welders building also situated on the site. The landscape design tells the story of Colorado as a Headwater State and highlights each of the eight watersheds in Colorado.

HYDRO has a dynamic facade that includes a flowing metal scrim sunshade. The water-inspired scrim springs from the ground at the front doors of HYDRO and then flows down Bettie Cram Drive and National Western Drive along the building’s face, indicating entry into the large front lobby. Once inside, visitors will see various hands-on water-themed exhibits, a café, a 200-seat Flex Event Theater, views into a working science lab, and a hands-on teaching classroom dedicated to water education.

The CSU Spur campus brings together experiential education to the public focused on water, food, and health in its three buildings: Vida, Terra, and Hydro.

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