Colorado State University selects design partner for first building at landmark National Western Center

Contact for reporters:
CSU System
Tiana Nelson, Director of Denver PR & Outreach
(303) 376-2613

Denver, CO – Colorado State University announced today that it has selected the team of Hord Coplan Macht and SmithGroup as the design team for the CSU Water Building at the National Western Center, the first building to break ground as part of the landmark redevelopment project.

“Our team was honored to have received an extremely qualified pool of more than 17 national firms interested in this important building,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “The partnership of Hord Coplan Macht and SmithGroup stood out as being able to deliver the creativity, connectivity, and experience needed to create a collaborative space for the University and our partners to take on the biggest issues facing our world today.”

HCM and SmithGroup expressed that the distinctiveness of the CSU Water Building and the impact of what will happen within its walls, was significant to bringing forward a proposal.

“The CSU Water Building is an especially rare, aspirational, visible and globally relevant project that comes along maybe once in a generation. The design opportunity, especially related to water and energy is unique,” said Mark Kranz, FAIA, design director of SmithGroup. “All this coupled with CSU’s aspirations for the project create a very special opportunity for innovation and long-lasting impact.”

Jennifer Cordes, AIA, LEED AP, principal at HCM, agreed.

“Our team is very excited to be working with CSU on this transformative project at the National Western Center,” she said. “The CSU Water Building is going to change how we think about water in the West and we are honored to have been selected.”

About Hord Coplan Macht

Hord Coplan Macht is an architecture, landscape architecture, planning and interior design firm.  Specializing in education, healthcare, mixed-use, parks, office and institutional facilities, the firm has offices in Baltimore, MD, Alexandria, VA, and Denver, CO.” For additional information, visit

About SmithGroup

SmithGroup is one of the world’s preeminent integrated design firms. Working across a network of 12 offices in the U.S. and China, a team of 1,300 experts is committed to excellence in strategy, design and delivery. The firm partners with forward-looking clients to maximize opportunities, minimize risk and solve their most complex problems. SmithGroup creates exceptional design solutions for healthcare, science and technology organizations, higher education and cultural institutions, urban environments, diverse workplaces, mixed-use and waterfront developments, and parks and open spaces. For additional information, visit

Colorado State University at the National Western Center

As Colorado’s land-grant university, CSU’s mission of research, service, and access fits with the outreach vision of the National Western Center. CSU is a key partner in the reimagination of the Center, and the University’s plans at the site focus on research and educational programming in the areas of food systems, water, environment, energy, and health. CSU will have three buildings within the 250-acre National Western Center campus, including a water resources center, breaking ground in late 2019, and an animal health building, breaking ground in early 2020. For additional information, visit

National Western Center

For additional information, visit