Urban Farming Classroom in Lakewood, Colo., Presented with IDEAS2 Award

The project team of the Lamar Station Classroom for Urban Farming gathered at the outdoor classroom structure in Lakewood, Colo., on Friday to receive AISC's 2017 IDEAS2 Award for excellence in building design using structural steel. Designed by the University of Colorado Denver's ColoradoBuildingWorkshop (entering organization) with structural engineering by Structuralist, LLC, Ft. Collins, Colo., for owner Metro West Housing Solutions, Lakewood, Colo., the weathering steel structure is deceptively complex. (Photos: AISC) 

AISC presented members of the project team of the Lamar Station Classroom for Urban Farming in Lakewood, Colo., with the 2017 IDEAS2 Award for excellence in steel-framed building design during a ceremony conducted at the structure on Friday.

Charlie Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of AISC, commented, “This design really draws you in. It’s the site I wish we had every nice day back when I was in college and we would ask if we could hold the class outside.”

The mission of this outdoor classroom structure is to educate residents of the nearby transit-oriented development about urban farming, while simultaneously providing space for environmental education and other youth programs. The project brief required the structure to have an opaque wall preserving the privacy of the classroom near the path leading to the light rail line, which was achieved with vertically oriented steel bar grate cladding. In this case the skin is structural, providing dynamic transparency as well as support for the majority of the structure’s gravity loads.

For more on this project and all of this year’s IDEAS2 award winners, see “2017 IDEAS2 Awards” in our May issue.

AISC is accepting entries for the 2018 IDEAS2 competition at The entry deadline is October 6, 2017.