Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) Tivoli Quadrangle

Denver, CO

An unused campus space is transformed into a vibrant park and city amenity

The Auraria Campus represents a unique venture in higher education. The campus is located adjacent to downtown Denver and consists of three distinct public institutions of higher learning whose shared services, facilities and property are managed by the Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC). The 2012 AHEC Campus Master Plan acknowledged the need for “place-making” within the campus community.  One key location identified was the Tivoli Quadrangle, a central area directly adjacent to the historic Tivoli Student Union. 

The 4-acre Tivoli Quadrangle is envisioned as a shared campus, community space, designed to support special events, recreation, and education.  AHEC worked closely with the design team to transform the existing fenced-in, athletic fields east of the Tivoli building, previously unavailable for public use, into a vibrant park serving the Auraria Campus, as well as the greater Denver community. The multi-component project consists of designed spaces including a tiered patio, a multi-purpose natural grass quad, peaceful seating areas beneath trees, and a large amphitheater. In addition, roadway/streetscape improvements increase connectivity, a two-way separated bike lane connects the north and south sides of campus, utility and stormwater infrastructure capture runnoff, and site lighting and amenities activate the space.

The Tivoli Quad is a place where the campus institutions can showcase their students’ talents, partner with outside groups to sponsor concerts and events for students and the Denver community, and host graduation and campus festivals. Additionally, it is a daily place for leisure, recreation, and enjoyment of the spectacular view to Downtown Denver.

See video from the Denver Downtown Partnership 2016 Downtown Denver Awards.


Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC)


Phase 1 & 2 – May 2016
Phase 3 – Spring 2017


Wenk Associates, Inc. Landscape Architecture
Martin/Martin, Inc. Civil and Structural
Pinkard Construction General Contractor
Anderson Mason Dale Architecture
Landtech Landscape
Colorado Hardscapes Concrete
BCER Group Electrical
RMH Group Electrical, Phase 3
Hydrosystems-KDI Irrigation
LT Environmental Environmental 
Kumar & Associates Geotechnical


ACEC Colorado Engineering Excellence Awards, Merit Award 2018

Denver Mayor's Design Award, Active Spaces, 2017

American Society of Landscape Architects Colorado Chapter, Merit Award for Design, 2017

Colorado National Society of Professional Engineers, Project of the Year, 2017

Denver Downtown Partnership,  Downtown Denver Award, 2016 (video)

Hardscape North America (HNA), Honorable Mention, 2016