May 4, 2022

Colorado State University Opens Dynamic Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building

In an exciting moment for the institution, Colorado State University (CSU) opened the state-of-the-art Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building earlier this week. We are proud to have designed this milestone building for CSU.

In a formal announcement by CSU, they celebrate that the building “centers the College of Agricultural Sciences in the heart of its campus and provides a critical home for agricultural research found nowhere else in the state of Colorado. The [building’s] connection to the land can be seen in everything from the giants map highlighting the extensive research footprint of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station to more subtle ceiling tiles, which mimic geometry patterns as seen from the sky.”

The building also arrives at a critical moment for agriculture amidst global supply chain issues, food insecurity, rising populations and growing geopolitical challenges. CSU believes the Nutrien building can be a catalyst for positive change.

“We are so excited to officially open the Nutrien Agricultural Science Building,” said CSU President Joyce McConnell. “This facility represents CSU’s investment in modern agriculture and meeting the challenges of food safety and food security, as well as our investment in the students who will be Colorado’s next agricultural leaders.”

Now spanning 80,000 sf, the Nutrien building rejuvenates and expands a key building on CSU’s campus and features labs and studios on its upper floors, including a dedicated simulation lab, a visualization room and large conference space in its North addition. The south addition is centered around a 180-seat-in-the-round auditorium along with a student-focused “mall” that creates storefronts to many key programmatic features such as the Student Success Center, the cafe/coffee shop, a 90-seat classroom, and an Innovation Gym — a flexible, collaboration-focused space ready for diverse learners and users.

“This is also a proud moment for our team,” added Tim Barr, our Denver Office Leader. “Nutrien reflects the type of living-centered projects we want to be designing in Denver, in Colorado and beyond. This isn’t just a visually appealing building that empowers its users, it’s also set to be a catalyst for real change in our world. Agricultural research breakthroughs will happen here that have impact across continents and generations. How cool is that?”

Other key features of the building, include:

  • The classroom-in-the-round is truly a novel approach, bringing students closer to the action, encouraging increased interaction and idea-sharing. Research indicates that in a traditional classroom, 70% of students always sit in the same spot. However, in a round classroom, that number drops to just 20% — meaning more students are connecting with people, ideas and information in different ways.
  • The Trading and Simulation Room connects students with real-time data and trading analysis. Here, students can perform economic simulations, experiments and data visualizations to understand how agricultural changes have far-reaching impact.
  • Lab spaces intentionally put science on display and are equipped with leading-edge technology and instrumentation to empower student research.

“Our students will be studying everything from how to grow the perfect Colorado peach to how to stimulate the microorganisms in the soil so they can fight disease to how to understand the ways consumer preferences are changing so they can make sure not only that we feed the world, but we give them things that are nutritious, affordable and accessible,” said James Pritchett, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “All of those big questions, we’re going to get to answer them in these spaces.”