The Auraria Bike Pavilions were constructed to promote non-motorized transportation for the Auraria Higher Education Center's students and faculty. The two pavilions were designed and built for $190,000 (material cost) in 11 months by 25 Masters of Architecture students.
The building is simply the vertical extrusion of parking spaces. The spaces are oriented to allow for a visual connection to the site and the most efficient parking for bikes to minimize the building footprint. The clear articulation of the building's function is expressed in limestone on the exterior of the building. This material responds to both the surrounding historic and contemporary buildings on campus. Limestone is durable, vandal resistant, and contextually sensitive; however, it is also heavy and opaque. Reimagining this material as a louver provides visual transparency that allows users to see if parking spaces are available while connecting those inside the structure to context beyond.
During the 11 month design and build process, students worked with electrical engineers, structural engineers, landscape architects, lighting designers, stonemasons, forensic architects, and material consultants at the earliest stages of schematic design through the final days of construction. The innovative dry-stacked limestone louver assembly is designed to acts as the building's columns, shear walls, parking space, roof drainage, and building signage. The louvers have also been developed for disassembly if the building outlives its useful life.
The project engaged a diverse group of constituents. University planners, architects, landscape architects, police, maintenance and facilities staff, the campus COO, and sustainability officers provided feedback to the students from schematic design through construction. The students also held public design sessions where students, faculty, and staff of the three campuses were asked to provide feedback during schematic design. Students administered surveys and even collected large quantities of data during pre-design to help guide their design decisions.