Denver, Colorado, USA
The architects of the Mexican studio Productora have developed an experimental co-housing project in Denver, Colorado in the first belt of low-density neighborhoods around the city center.
Located at the corner of East 36th Avenue and North Merion Street, just north of downtown Denver, the project was developed by Continuum Partners
within the framework of the Biennial of the Americas, a Pan-American festival of art and culture.
The housing complex provides eight units with shared amenities on a lot that would typically accommodate only two single-family homes.
The goal of this project was to better reflect the reality of residents’ living arrangements.
The concept recognizes the great variety of lifestyles among the inhabitants of Denver—intergenerational or student cohabitation, extended or blended families, an intermingling of living and workspaces
It provides centrally located, low-cost housing for individuals or couples while integrating within the morphology of the suburban environment.
Producora’s design comprises two identical sets of houses with mirrored layouts
Taking advantage of a rule in the building code that allows an accessory unit for each house, the architects designed two three-story main units (two stories and a loft) and two independent units on the lot.
The former is composed of three levels with a bathroom, kitchenette, and large communal areas.
The latter are studio/homes for artists and take the form of a typical garage attached to the house.
The front houses have double-height entrance areas, and the communal kitchen and living areas have large glazed surfaces to interact with each other.
Gabled roofs echo the typical profile of neighboring buildings. However, these are much steeper and stand out through their shade of bright blue.
Built at an incredibly low cost ($200 dollars per square meter), the units mimic the typical form of a North American single-family dwelling but have a colored sheet metal exterior that makes them easily recognizable.
To meet the limited budget, Productora used standard details throughout all four buildings.
Still, the interiors offer light-filled and unpretentious living spaces.
Project: Blue Housing Complex
Client: Biennial of the Americas and Continuum Partners
Photographers: Onnis Luque