Building a Boulder landmark

NCAR's founding director, Walt Roberts, worked closely with a then up-and-coming architect, I.M. Pei , on design of NCAR's Mesa Lab. Construction began in 1964 and took two years. The building includes research facilities, common areas, and courtyards that blend in color and shape with the dramatic Flatirons rock outcrops that form its backdrop. Pei carefully planned the complex’s collection of geometric forms, organizing offices and labs within tall towers to give researchers privacy while also encouraging casual meetings in hallways and common areas. The building, dedicated in May 1967, soon became a Boulder landmark.