Tivoli student union - Auraria higher education center


This student-funded project provides an extraordinary student union landmark with the completion of the $22 million revitalization of the historic Tivoli Student Union serving the 37,000-student, three-college campus.

The program includes the complete restoration of the building exterior, rehabilitation of the building mechanical and electrical systems, code violation remediation, and other preservation repairs for the 324,100 square foot facility. There were two design phases including a master plan and the revitalization and renovation project.  Originally planned to be completed over a 10-year period the design team developed a strategy to complete and implement the entire program over a two year period.

Project Challenges

Used as the campus student union, the Tivoli complex consists of 16 periods of construction, some of which were originally designed as brewery buildings in 1870. During the construction process, the owner required that the building remain open. A variety of disciplines and prioritized information was developed to minimize disruption during daily operations and activities. The project required significant collaboration with over 18 different user groups.

Project Approach

The project began with the master plan process that determined what the revitalization and renovation project would include and how it would be accomplished. The general approach divided the project into the following main components:

  • Exterior façade repair - $8.5 million ($1.8 million of paint removal, also included exterior brick repair, and removal and replacement of exterior stucco coatings)
  • Window replacement and restoration - $1.5 million
  • Exterior building lighting - $93,000
  • Roof replacement - $1.8 million
  • Fire alarm and life-safety upgrades - $451,000
  • Mechanical system replacement and electrical system upgrades - $8.1 million


Engine House NO. 5


SLATERPAULL Architects purchased Engine House No. 5, a former Lower Downtown (LoDo) fire station at 19th and Market Streets, from the City and County of Denver, with plans to restore and redevelop the 1922 building to serve as the firm’s corporate headquarters. The historic building has been transformed into a high performance, sustainable office space and one of the most energy efficient historic restorations in LoDo. SLATERPAULL’s design solution blends the historic character of Engine House No. 5 with a flexible, collaborative environment through sustainable design.

Certified LEED Platinum, the new office includes a variety of energy-efficient systems and green building techniques. The building is conditioned with chilled beam technology, an ultra-efficient radiant heating and cooling mechanical system combined with under-floor fresh air distribution.

The raised floor allows for concealed routing of power, data, and ductwork, allowing the workspace to remain flexible and collaborative. Individuals have control over their air distribution with operable floor vents throughout the studio. The specified ventilation system, air circulation method and healthy material selection, such as low VOC paints and minimal carpet, improves energy efficiency, enhances air quality and reduces pollutants and cross contamination in the office space. The building uses nearly half the energy of a similar building of this type.

Generous restored windows, skylights and daylight sensors allow for the lights to be turned off throughout the office the majority of the day to limit energy consumption and contribute to a healthy indoor environment. SLATERPAULL also implements recycling and composting programs and a green cleaning system for the new office. Employees have access to outdoor space, bike racks and a shower.

Emerson School


The oldest remaining example of a building designed by prominent Colorado architect, Robert S. Roeschlaub, the Emerson School was constructed in 1885.  In 1917, a Cottage School addition was constructed to the north of the original building.  The building functioned as a school until changing neighborhood demographics resulted in the school board’s decision to close the school in 1979.  Over the next several years, the interior of the building was modified to meet various needs, resulting in its current condition and use as an office building for non-profit organizations, a church, and medical and dental offices among other tenants.

In 1984, the building was designated as a local landmark by the Denver City Council.  In 1997, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance.  

In 2008, SLATERPAULL Architects completed a due diligence report for the Emerson School building. This report sought to establish the current condition of the building, provide a prioritized list of deficiencies requiring attention, guidelines for mitigation of the identified issues, as well as a cost estimate to remediate the issues.  In addition, the building’s envelope and mechanical systems were evaluated using sustainable concepts, and recommendations for sustainable, efficient upgrades were established.  

In 2010, SLATERPAULL Architects was hired as part of the design-build team to complete the redevelopment of the Emerson School.  Along with St. Charles Town Company and Spectrum General Contractors, SLATERPAULL Architects is redeveloping the historic school into the future home of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Mountains/Plains Office, Colorado Preservation, Inc. and Historic Denver, Inc.  The $2.4 million rehabilitation of the school is focusing in particular on making the building a model for how older structures can meet – or exceed – the highest standards for energy efficiency and environmental design.  Construction was completed in 2012.  



Constructed in 1917 and enlarged in 1920, the Drennan Schoolhouse has served the community of Drennan, Colorado for many years.  Initially, the schoolhouse served as a first through twelfth grade school for the surrounding community.  In addition, from 1918 through 1955, the building housed the El Paso Telephone Exchange, and the Drennan post office from 1917 through 1954.  Currently owned by a non-profit group of alumni, the Drennan Community School Building Inc., the schoolhouse continues to serve the community as a meeting hall.  The building has retained a high amount of historic integrity, with original plaster walls and ceilings, woodwork, chalkboards, and desks on the interior and original wood doors, windows, and wood shake siding on the exterior.  The building was added to the Colorado State Register of Historic Places in 2007 and to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. 

In 2005, SLATERPAULL Architects completed a historic structure assessment for the building with a grant from the Colorado Historical Society State Historical Fund (SHF).  This assessment resulted in a phased work plan for the rehabilitation of the schoolhouse.  The most critical issues identified in the assessment include significant water damage at the foundation and extensive rehabilitation of exterior woodwork and roofing.  In the fall of 2009, SLATERPAULL Architects worked with a grant from the SHF to complete phase one of the exterior rehabilitation.  This phase includes replacement of standing seam metal roofs with wood shake roofs, rehabilitation of wood shake siding, repairs to the foundation, and site work.  The project received a Stephen H. Hart State Honor Award in February of 2010.



The Avery Block is located on the northeast corner of North College Avenue and East Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins, Colorado and is part of Fort Collins’ Old Town. Designed by the town’s first architect, Montezuma W. Fuller in 1897, the building originally housed Franklin Avery’s First National Bank. The Avery Block is a two-story brick and sandstone building and is made up of three distinct irregular structures. The Avery Block is in the existing Old Town historic district.

In late 2009, SLATERPAULL Architects completed several conceptual 3-D designs for the Avery Block storefront rehabilitation. In trying to be respectful of the historic nature of Old Town, several options were considered based on historic photos, rehabilitated precedents in the area as well as modern themes which still maintained the horizontal lines and other design guidelines. Avery Building, LLC, the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority and the City of Fort Collins partnered together and with funding provided in part by History Colorado, State Historical Fund, design for the storefront restoration and building rehabilitation continued. SLATERPAULL Architects is currently completing construction documents with construction anticipated to start in summer of 2011.

The project includes stone and brick rehabilitation, door and window rehabilitation, pressed tin cornice rehabilitation, and the reconstruction of stone finials and the storefront cornice based on historic photographs. With the reconstruction of the storefront cornice, the original configuration of transom windows will be re-introduced. Awnings will be replaced by Palmer Properties independent of this project, but sympathetic to the historic character of the building, and with consultation from SLATERPAULL Architects.