Rick Sommerfeld

Erik Sommerfeld

Assistant Professor & Director, Design Build Certificate Programs and Initiatives
  • College of Architecture and Planning

Email Address:erik.sommerfeld@ucdenver.edu

Primary Phone:303-315-0008

Mailing Address:
  • CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street

Denver, CO 80202

Erik “Rick” Sommerfeld is an Architect, Assistant Professor and the Director of Colorado Building Workshop, the design-build program at the University of Colorado Denver. Since founding Colorado Building Workshop in 2009 Rick has built eleven community projects, including 21 micro-cabins for the Colorado Outward Bounds School, and in collaboration with Design Build BLUFF at the University of Utah, five charitable homes and two cabins in Southern Utah. Rick’s work with Colorado Building Workshop and Design Build BLUFF has been featured in over 35 publications worldwide and received over 40 local, national, and international design awards. He has lectured internationally and the work has been part of exhibitions in Paris, Vancouver, Munich, Vienna, and the US. Rick’s pedagogical vision for design-build is heavily focused on integrated project delivery. This requires students to work closely with engineers and consultants at the earliest stages of design, testing their ideas against contextual and programmatic constraints. He believes this enhances the practical application of architectural theory and promotes a blend of hands-on skills, authentic learning, and material exploration helping enrich student’s architectural education.

Areas of Expertise

Innovative use of common building materials reimagined through labor-intensive construction techniques Challenging the conventions around traditional building assemblies and their relationship to the building Collaborative design process explored through the academic design-build model

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • BENVD University of Colorado Boulder ’97
  • MARCH University of Colorado Denver ‘01

Awards

2021 Canadian Wood Council, Wood Design and Building Awards, Merit Award, Cottonwood Cabins, 2019 National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA), Structural Engineering Award, Longs Peak Privies, 2019 American Institute of Architects, Western Mountain Region Merit Award, Cottonwood Cabins, 2019 American Institute of Architects Small Projects Award, Longs Peak Privies, 2018 Architizer A+ Award, Category: Detail-Stone, Longs Peak Privies, 2017 AIA Utah Honor Award, Confluence Hall, 2017 American Institute of Architects Small Projects Award, Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins, 2017 American Institute of Steel Construction IDEAS2 Merit Award for excellence in steel-frame building design, Lamar Station Classroom for Urban Farming, 2016 Residential Architect Design Awards, Citation Award, Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins, 2019 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Design Build Award, Longs Peak Privies, 2018 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Design Build Award, Confluence Hall, 2017 Award for Excellence in Teaching as a Tenure/ Tenure Track Professor, University of Colorado Denver, Campus Level Recipient, 2016 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Design Build Award, Colorado Outward Bound Micro-Cabins,2016 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Design Build Award, Lamar Station Outdoor Classroom for Urban Farming, 2015Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Collaborative Practice Award, 2014 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Design Build Project, Nakai House.