CSU Spur, a three-building campus at the National Western Center, is the educational anchor of a 250-acre public center located just north of downtown Denver, Colo. An epicenter of institutional, public, and state collaboration, CSU Spur, once completed, will include a trio of new, state-of-the-art facilities named Vida (life), Terra (earth) and Hydro (water). Vida focuses on the connectivity between human and animal life. Terra brings agriculture to life, allowing people to understand where their food comes from. Hydro examines Colorado’s water footprint and impact on millions of people in multiple regions. Plans for the National Western Center includes both indoor and outdoor space for innovation and research labs, farmers markets, international conferences and outdoor festivals among other activities.
INVISION Architecture served as the national design consultant to Clark & Enersen for Vida, the first of the new CSU Spur buildings to open. The 114,000-square-foot facility is committed to engaging the public through interactive experiences that display the connection between human and animal life. Our team played a vital role in the planning and execution of the small animal hospital and clinic, run and operated by the The Dumb Friends League. This public veterinary hospital at Spur provides donor-subsidized spay and neuter treatment, surgery and medical treatment for underserved pets and feral animals of the greater Denver area. Exam rooms and support spaces were split between public and private areas to allow for public viewing and to maintain efficiency in operations. INVISION implemented elements from the “Fear Free Design” concept, combining animal neuroscience and architecture to design a veterinary clinic that aims to lower stress levels and to eliminate the fight or flight response from animals brought into the clinic. In its first year of operation, the DFL served more than 6,000 pets at CSU Spur as it continues to serve the local Denver community and animals in need.