Associate Professor Erik "Rick" Sommerfeld
Campus Box 126
Denver, CO 80217
Aims and expectationsSince 1991, the Department of Architecture’s Design Build Program has served the broader community by partnering with non-profit organizations on a variety of innovative projects. The program centers on the practical application of architectural theory and promotes a blend of hands-on skills, creative design, and cutting edge materials to construct buildings for communities in need. Collaboration is the core principle of the design-build program. We are thankful to all the businesses and individuals who support this work and recognize its importance in the local community.
ColoradoBuildingWorkshop, the design-build program at the University of Colorado Denver, takes Masters of Architecture students out of the classroom and into the real world, tasking them to design and build a project for a “community in need.” Since 2009, the program has built twelve community projects, including 21 micro-cabins for the Colorado Outward Bounds School, and in collaboration with DesignBuildBLUFF at the University of Utah, five charitable homes and two cabins in Southern Utah.
ColoradoBuildingWorkshop’s pedagogical vision for design-build is heavily focused on integrated project delivery. This requires students to work closely with clients, engineers, consultants, and community partners at the earliest stages of design, testing their ideas against contextual and programmatic constraints. We believe this enhances the practical application of architectural theory and promotes a blend of hands-on skills, authentic learning, and material exploration.
Since the program works with not-for-profits, towns, governmental agencies, and communities in need, we are familiar with tight budgets, short timelines, and challenging site constraints. We embrace these obstacles as opportunities for creating innovative design solutions. The work has been recognized with over 40 design awards, been featured in over 17 books, and exhibited in Museums in Paris, Vienna, Vancouver, and the US. Learn more about what we do by visiting our website. http://coloradobuildingworkshop.cudenvercap.org/