LoDo Lab's Internal Projects

Marc S. | Blair S. | Assia C. | Sara B. | Matt H. | Jacob T. | Logan E. | Sarah M.

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Biodegradable Landscape Infrastructure Pods (BLIP) aims to tackle the Grand Challenge of climate change related to landscape restoration after forest fires. As forest fires increase in temperature and duration, they leave soil sterilized and devoid of nutrients for next-generation regrowth, thus halting the natural lifecycle of the forest. Our research aims to increase the success rate of forest regeneration on burn scar sites.

Check out our recent feature in CU Denver News on how CAP and our BLIP research are addressing today’s environmental challenges here.

Nurse Pod

Marc S. | Blair S. | Brian B. | Matt H. | Jacob T. | Hadley R. | Logan E.

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 The aim of the Nurse Pods concept is to address a major ongoing issue, the loss of forests due to wildfire and climate change, with thoughtful, design-driven approaches to explicit ecological and environmental challenges, spanning disciplines to support the natural world.

Blind Nurse

Marc S. | Blair S. | Brian B. | Matt H. | Jacob T.

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When architects consider a building’s decay as carefully as its design and construction, they demonstrate that architecture is fundamentally part of our natural ecosystem, not distinct from it. The Nurse Pods project explores a scenario in which architecture can consciously participate in the natural cycles it often ignores. The end of a building’s life becomes an opportunity to support new growth.

Zippered Wood

LoDo Lab | HiLo Lab | Houminn

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We are exploring how to turn short lengths of waste 2×4 into long, curved posts and beams. We are strategically modifying 2x4s with specifically designed and cut geometries and mating them with corresponding boards to generate bent forms. The modified boards are “zipped” together, forcing each other into predictably bent 2×4. This is done without form-work, just pure geometry producing its own expression.

CAP Donor Alumni Recognition Installation

LoDo Lab Members

To be located in the first-floor lobby of the College of Architecture and Planning, CAP’s Dean, Nan Ellin, and her Advisory Board have asked LoDo Lab and its team members to design a materially rich object wall that honors those who have contributed resources to the College and its students. The wall will include both physical and digital components and will be built from sustainable, naturally-derived materials that speak to CAP’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

CAP Security Desk & Lobby Space

Marc S. | Matt G. | CAP Students | Bixler BioDesign Studio

This is a project that grew out of two undergraduate design studios taught by LoDo members, Marc Swackhamer and Matt Gines, along with the help of Rachel Bannon-Godfrey, from Stantec. It is the redesign of the first floor security desk in the lobby of the College of Architecture and Planning Building, just off of Larimer Square in Downtown Denver. Students examined local native plant species from the adjacent Cherry Creek to develop a scheme informed by those who inhabited the site of the building long before its occupation by the University of Colorado Denver. With the Willow tree as a precedent, the final scheme for the security desk creates an open, airy, and welcoming bent wood screen that facilitates connection, rather than separation, between the security guard and CAP visitors. The desk is designed around ideas of minimal construction waste, inexpensive, off-the-shelf materials, and design for disassembly. It will be completed in the fall of 2021.

LoDo Lab's Members Projects

Designed Forests For Carbon Removal

Jamie Vanucchi

Forests take carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their woody biomass and soil. Species differ in the rates at which they sequester carbon and for how long they store it. What would a forest designed to maximize carbon removal look like, and how would it be managed? How might design help trees keep pace with accelerating climate change? How could the management and experience of this forest directly engage us in the work of climate change mitigation and the hope of alternative futures?

Severance Community Park Pedestrian Bridge

Colorado Building Workshop | Rick S.

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The Severance Community Park pedestrian bridge is the first build completed for the town of Severance, CO by Colorado Building Workshop. Faculty, students, and community partners worked from August 2020 through June of 2021 to design and complete the 130 foot long pedestrian bridge connecting the Great Western Trail across an irrigation canal in Severance’s new community park.

The weathering steel and heavy timber structure draws inspiration from the surrounding landscape and references the town’s agrarian roots and historical connection to the great western railway while also offering a modern and streamlined interpretation that encourages the evolution of Severance’s growing infrastructure.

The structure is oriented towards Long’s Peak. The truss frames the distant peak as the heavy timber walkway rises to the west. The bridge and program are extended into the landscape creating two unique pavilions on each embankment.  Directly above the water both the truss and walkway are modified inviting users to engage with the water below.

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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