Assistant Vice Chancellor for Planning, Design and Construction Chris Ewing has named d’Andre Willis as our new campus architect and director of planning for CU Boulder.
Willis comes with over 30 years of experience in architecture and planning. Her most recent experiences leading her own consulting practice and as a vice president at HGA provided her with the opportunity to work on major projects including the Folger Shakespeare Library, Northern Virginia Science Center, the Contemplative Site and African American Burial Ground at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and multiple campus buildings at the University of Virginia, Wheaton College and Marquette University.
Willis holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was inspired to attend Dartmouth by the campus aesthetics and connections to nature, and says she is similarly inspired by the architectural beauty at CU Boulder. “I’m excited to join CU Boulder because it is a campus whose buildings and outdoor spaces are treasured, and where design is considered essential to the culture of the community.”
After a part-time transition in August and September, Willis will join CU Boulder full-time on Oct. 1.
“D’Andre will be joining us as we complete our 10-year update to the Campus Master Plan later this year,” says Ewing. “What a great opportunity to join the campus as we begin the planning phases for projects identified to be built over the next 10 years and beyond.”
Willis will be responsible for the planning and design of all capital improvement projects and will ensure the overall form, function and appeal of the campus.
“I am a firm believer in defining design excellence as both an activity and an outcome, and measuring success by a broad set of standards, such as a process that is inclusive and transparent, and buildings that are beautiful while supporting accessibility, equity, resilience, sustainability and a sense of place,” says Willis.
Willis will be responsible for all architectural decisions on the CU Boulder campus, including coordination with campus stakeholders and collaboration with the university Design Review Board, the City of Boulder planning department and other external entities. The position also directs day-to-day activities and operations of the planning team.
Some of the first projects Willis will be involved with include completion and implementation of the Campus Master Plan, precinct planning and the renovations of the historic Hellems Arts and Sciences Building and Mary Rippon Theatre.
Willis shows a passion for sustainability by developing best practices for sustainable design and using parametric modeling to finetune and harmoniously integrate a building project to its unique site, environment and use. As active transportation cyclists and lovers of the outdoors, she and her husband look forward to joining Boulder’s community.
“D’Andre’s experience and passion for historic architecture will add to the CU Boulder architectural legacy for future generations.” says Ewing. ”I am particularly excited about her ability to positively influence the user experience through the built environment. She’s someone you can talk to for hours about how design can shape our collective experiences.”