Proj Overview

The new Aerospace Engineering Sciences Building at the University of Colorado was designed as a ‘Center of Gravity’ for the Aerospace Department and Gage Brothers manufactured the precast concrete that was used to build it.

Inspired by principles of the discipline, the building was designed from the inside out, ensuring the goals for collaborative research and hands-on learning drove the layout. The exterior of the building explores the concept of propulsion, the action of driving forward, through the vertical precast plates that ‘pleat’ across the south façade pulling toward the entry. The angles of the precast plates were analyzed to control heat gain, reduce glare, and maximize daylight, while still allowing views out from the interior of the building. As a result of this scrutiny, 76% of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences’ building spaces are daylit with views.

After exploring other materials, precast concrete was selected for this dynamic façade due to its flexible nature, its longevity and its natural beauty. Over fifty feet in height and one foot in depth, each precast concrete plate is comprised of a series of panels that work together to create a uniform ‘wing-like’ form that angles toward the front entry, propelling visitors into the building.

The natural material appears to defy nature as it soars above the ground. Additionally, precast was utilized as windowsills and parapet copings, picking up the patter language of the surrounding campus buildings while allowing the south elevation to be a signature element that speaks to the aerospace program.


There are no records.
Project Team


Hord Coplan Macht


KL&A Structural Engineers


The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company


University of Colorado Boulder


Gage Brothers

Precast Specialty Engineer

Gage Brothers

Image Credits

David Lauer Photography

Key Project Attributes

  • Building has improved thermal performance reducing energy consumption.
  • Precast helped meet sustainability goals.
  • LEED Gold certified, high performing building.
  • 3D modelling in REVIT

Project/Precast Scope

  • 2” ARCIS Ultra-thin Prestressed Precast Rainscreen Panels
  • 979 pieces or 10,650 square feet
  • 215,324 lineal feet of 1/8” stainless steel strand
  • 71 cubic yards of concrete
  • Acid etch finish
  • Steel structure with Steel Stud framing
  • 4 story structure