Co-Housing Denver

Denver / United States / 2021

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This experimental project is located in the first belt of low-density neighborhoods surrounding downtown Denver at only two miles of the city center. It provides centrally located, low-cost housing for individuals or couples, while integrating within the morphology of the suburban environment. The site consists of a 50 foot wide parcel divided into two equal lots. According to local zoning codes, we could built a main house and an ‘accessory dwelling unit’ (ADU) on each lot. By organizing each front house into 3 studios, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette, and a large communal living space, we managed to have eight units in total: six studios in the front houses, and two split-level ‘artist’ studios in the ADU’s towards the alley.


The project acknowledges how larger single-family residences in well-located neighborhood are frequently shared by roommates and friends, and was designed to cater to those needs. Integrating shared kitchen and living room, laundry areas, a powder room, and paved outdoor areas, the project stages a subtle balance between the need for privacy and the possibility of social interaction.


The project is built with a very limited budget (about 200 usd/sqft) using economical construction materials and standard solutions. The pitched roof volumes are clad with a standing seam metal roof (in a standard blue color) and a board and batten façade with different vertical intervals and tones of blue, to make the child-like house-shapes recognizable elements. Even within the restricted budget and buildable volume, the architecture has a generous and spacious feel. The front houses have double-height entrance areas, and the communal kitchen and living areas have large glazed surfaces to interact with each other. The upper-floor studios take advantage of the pitched roof volume creating high-ceiling living areas and a sleeping mezzanine accessible by a ladder. The split-level ADU’s received a roll-up garage door creating a workshop-like atmosphere and a direct connection with the outdoors during the warm summer months.



Architectural Design: PRODUCTORA (Carlos Bedoya, Wonne Ickx, Víctor Jaime, Abel Perles) | Local architect and contractor: Joe Dooling (DDB) | Collaborators: Ruy Berumen, Emiliano Rode, Tessa Watson | Typology: Residential / Co-housing | Location: Denver, Colorado, USA | Client: The Biennial of the Americas / Continuum Partners (Mark Falcone) | Developer: Continuum Partners | Date: 2021 | Photography: Onnis Luque


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Este proyecto experimental está situado en el primer cinturón de baja densidad que rodea el centro de Denver, a tan sólo tres kilómetros del centro de la ciudad. Proporciona una vivienda céntrica y de bajo costo para individuos o parejas, integrándose a la morfología del entorno suburbano. Consta de un terreno de 15 metros (25 pies) de ancho dividido en dos lotes. Según los códigos de zonificación locales, podríamos construir una casa principal y una unidad adicional (ADU – Accesory Dwelling Unit) en cada predio. Al organizar cada casa delantera en 3 estudios, cada uno con su propio baño y cocina, y un gran espacio común, conseguimos tener ocho unidades en total: seis en las casas delanteras, y dos estudios para artista, organizados en medios niveles, en las unidades de atrás (ADU).


El proyecto reconoce que las residencias unifamiliares grandes en zonas céntricas suelen ser compartidas por compañeros de piso y amigos, y se enfocó en satisfacer esas necesidades de convivencia. Integrando espacios compartidos como: una cocina, una amplia sala, zonas de lavandería, un baño y zonas exteriores pavimentadas, el proyecto brinda un sutil equilibrio entre la necesidad de privacidad y la posibilidad de interacción social.


La construcción del proyecto se realizó con un presupuesto muy limitado (200 USD/ft²) utilizando materiales económicos y soluciones constructivas estándar. Los volúmenes de cubierta inclinada están revestidos con techo metálico (en un color azul estándar) y una fachada de tabla y listón (board-and-batten) con diferentes tonos de azul e intervalos verticales, resaltando las siluetas de casas típicas como figuras reconocibles. Incluso con presupuesto y volumen edificable restringidos, se dio al proyecto una sensación de generosidad y amplitud. Las casas delanteras tienen zonas de entrada de doble altura; la cocina y las zonas comunes tienen grandes superficies acristaladas para interactuar entre sí. Los estudios aprovechan la volumetría de techo inclinado para crear amplias zonas de estar y un mezanine para dormir al que se accede por una escalera. Los volúmenes de atrás de dos niveles cuentan con una puerta de garaje enrollable que crea un ambiente de taller y una conexión directa con el exterior durante los cálidos meses de verano.

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    This experimental project is located in the first belt of low-density neighborhoods surrounding downtown Denver at only two miles of the city center. It provides centrally located, low-cost housing for individuals or couples, while integrating within the morphology of the suburban environment. The site consists of a 50 foot wide parcel divided into two equal lots. According to local zoning codes, we could built a main house and an ‘accessory dwelling unit’ (ADU) on each lot. By...

    Project details
    • Year 2021
    • Work finished in 2021
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Multi-family residence / Social Housing
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