Colorado State University HYDRO Building

The HYDRO Building is one of three new facilities located on the CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center. CSU Spur is designed to offer experiential learning opportunities to visitors of all ages.

The 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.

Associate Architect: SmithGroup

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