University of Colorado Boulder

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The scientists of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA), at the University of Colorado Boulder, designed and built the last new instrument to be installed on the Hubble Space Telescope. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) contributes to the study of the origins of large scale structures in the universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and the origin of stellar and planetary systems. Built in association with Ball Aerospace, the device was launched and installed by the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis in May 2009.


To provide facilities for the scientists who process the data from the COS, a 5,100 SF addition was designed for CASA's existing building at the University's Research Park. 


The addition houses both closed and open dry-research offices for scientists and graduate students, two conference rooms and a computer facility. The building was formed in an L-shape to create a new courtyard for the entire complex. The latter adjoins the large conference room and the open office area.


The architecture of the addition was conceived as a light-scale, curtain wall pavilion to provide a new identity for the overall building. A brick-masonry wall on the north side of the addition aligns with the existing masonry building; the curtain wall has sunshades around the perimeter to reduce glare and solar heat gain. A new entry and lobby was provided at the seam between the existing and new, which is day-lighted from above by a glass tower. This tower serves as a marker for the site and is emblematic of the work performed in the building.