The Denver Architectural League recently announced the winners of their Micro Housing Ideas Competition as well as seven formal recognitions. Inspired by a concern about the lack of innovation in Denver's existing multi-family housing market where many banal apartment, townhome and condo complexes continue to be built, this competition offered designers an opportunity to engage in reinventing the notion of "responsible affordable housing" with an emphasis on regenerative design.
The Micro Housing Ideas Competition was hypothetically based on an actual site located across from the TAXI development in Denver's up and coming River North District. Parameters included the design of an eight-unit micro-housing complex that provides an entry identity for the TAXI Community; public access to the river; an affordable housing design; modularity and prefabrication; "thriveability" as it relates to natural ecologies and human modes of life; and the appropriate use of technology, materials and building systems.
As part of the Denver Architectural League's continuing effort to engage the profession, public and students in a dialogue that raises the level of design expectation locally, regionally and internationally, the following award-winning entries, all four submitted from outside the United States, were acknowledged at a public reception. Winners received a certificate and cash prizes.
First Place: Micro Urban
Studio de Arquitectura y Ciudad (Armando Birlain López (principal), Wyatt O’Day (project leader), Rodolfo Unda, Joao Pedro Teles Barbosa & Jovana Grujevska)
Second Place: Micro Units
Tadeja Vidoni, Lea Ritonja & Inez Goessens
Honorable Mention: Microhousing/Macropossibilities
A43 Arquitectura (Mendes Pinheiro, Nuno Costa, Jorge Lamas, Tiago Silva, Diogo Ferrao, Diogo Pereira, Sérgio Almeida)
Vila Niva de Gaia, Portugal
Ahmed Hamdi Architects
The jury also awarded following seven formal recognitions:
Sound Thinking by a Young Person:
"In evaluating entries for the Micro Housing Ideas Competition, the jury looked for approaches that reconsidered the potential for multi-family affordable housing to improve not only the lives of the people it might shelter, but also the life of the community around it, the life of the city of Denver, and the life of the biosphere of which humanity is not a separate entity but an integral part," shared Jury Chair George Hoover, FAIA, architect and professor emeritus of architecture, University of Colorado Denver. "In our biosphere, thriveability seeks a more holistic view of the world—these winning entries succeed in setting thoughtful parameters for a rich dialogue about new possibilities for the way we live, starting with a conversation in Denver that we hope will expand nationally and beyond."
Submittals were juried by a distinguished panel of respected authorities in architecture, development, engineering and media, including Chair George Hoover, FAIA; Ray Mark Rinaldi, the Denver Post's Fine Arts Critic; urban pioneer Mickey Zeppelin, founder of Zeppelin Development and the creator of TAXI; Scott Lindenau, FAIA, founder and design principal of Studio B Architects, one of Aspen's top modernist design firms; Charles Keyes, P.E., principal of Martin/Martin Structural Engineers; and William Logan, the founder and publisher of Modern in Denver magazine.
An exhibition of all 70 submittals (including 25 from outside the United States), opened on May 10th in Denver, CO at the Temenos Gallery inside the design studio of Roth Sheppard Architects (map) and will continue to welcome media, the design profession, and the public from 9am to 5pm every weekday through Friday, June 21st.