Lamar Station Classroom for Urban Farming

Lamar Station Crossing is a new development by Metro West Housing Solutions, the housing authority of Lakewood, CO. The PUD is adjacent to the newest Lightrail line in Colorado, the W line to Golden. The housing authority approached Colorado Building Workshop about designing a classroom to educate the residents about urban farming. The site is located in the panhandle of the property along the Lakewood Gulch. Given the up-and-coming characteristics of the neighborhood visibility into the classroom and vandalism were concerns. The solution was a steel bar grate structure that provided “dynamic” transparency. The orientation of the classroom allows for views into the space by staff sitting in their office while simultaneously allowing privacy for those learning in the classroom. When approaching the classroom on the path the structure continually gets more opaque due to the orientation of the vertical louvers. The bar grate skins carry the majority of the building load all but eliminating the need for columns and vertical web members. Once inside, the classroom subtly divides itself into three spaces. A large steel gutter that terminates in a wash station and planter marks the entry. A mobile table, and skylight, defines the classroom space directly east of entry, while the stage west of the entry opens to the future raised beds and amphitheater seating. 

Images and Plans


Technical Description

The structure is built from conventional steel members and a steel bar grate skin. In this case the skin is structural providing dynamic transparency as well as supporting the majority of the superstructures gravity loads by acting like 1/8” x 3/4” steel columns. 

All other steel members are structural as well including the solid steel webs of the gutter trusses, and especially the steel plate shear walls/ribbon that wraps the subtractive boundary around the cantilevers. Here they act primarily as shear walls proving main wind force resistance, secondarily as physical closure/barrier to the void space between bar grating walls, and thirdly as a consistent width architectural “ribbon” that weaves its way around and through the project. 


Shawn Adams, Brandon Bain, Kristin Bevis, Mike Blea, Joe Coleman, Amr Fayez, John Gibbons, James Hart, Jeremy Jones, Amy Keil, Maeve Kinsey, DJ Kornmeyer, Breton Lujan, Kendra Matrician, Paul Mitchell, Jack Tipton
Metro West Housing Authority
Ryan McCaw
Craig Cherry
Andy Paddock, Structural Engineer
Grants and Contracts
Metro West Housing Authority

Academic Discipline(s)
16 Students
Academic Facts

Site / Structure Dimension
3 acres
30' x 22'
660 sq. ft.
43000 €
0 €
In Kind
Project Start
Transportation of Skill
Project Context
Community / Culture | Agriculture / Foresting / Gardening
Construction Methods/Techniques