The Mesa Laboratory is a laboratory research for National Center for Atmospheric Research which conducts collaborative research in atmospheric and Earth system science, atmospheric chemistry, encompassing meteorology, climate science, environmental and societal impacts, solar-terrestrial interactions and more. The building located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, near Boulder, Colorado, USA. It constructed on the edge of the rockies against the natural formation of the Rocky Mountains in 1961 and finished at 1967. Designed by modernist architect I.M. Pei, the building designed to match the color of the mountains. It using bush-hammered on unfinished concrete of a dark pinkish aggregate to makes a sense of natural weathered rock on the wall.
The Mesa Laboratory is an I.M. Pei’s first project outside of city building design, it based on the Anasazi cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. In 1967, the building won Laboratory of the Year award by Industrial Research Magazine, and in 1997 it won American Institute of Architects: Colorado Chapter’s 25 Year Award.
“You just cannot compete with the scale of the Rockies. So we tried to make a building that was without the conventional scale you get from recognizable floor heights-as in those monolithic structures that still survive from the cliff-dwelling Indians.” – I.M. Pei in American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century.