Location: Denver CO (USA)
Size: Site – 0.145 acres / Built – 4620 sft
The SML residences is an acknowledgement to the coexistence of shared sensibilities and individual expression; a dwelling condition that accommodates living, working, density, privacy, private ownership, public places, common grounds and individual expressions. The design of the SML project concerns a villa-like residential building with three specific accommodations with the intention that they look like a single residence. The individuality of each unit comes from the different ratios of live and work specific to the owners of that unit.
Exploiting the desirability of outdoor space in Colorado, the design for the project amplifies the possibilities of regional architectural strategies—balconies, terraces, courtyards, and breezeways—by recombining them in unexpected ways to maximize the connections between interior and exterior space. Along with the material palette, this interweaving articulation of the inside and the outside unifies the experience of the residences into a single community.
The principal design challenge is the relationship between the units and the exterior spaces they define. Taking advantage of the mixed use, multiple unit zoning allowance for the site also implies maximizing the built space while maintaining meaningful outdoor spaces. Our design achieves a density that is desirable as an urban gesture, and amplifies the sense of community between the three units by unifying the three residential units into a singular statement formally. Traditional typologies of duplexes, row-houses and other types of attached dwellings on a plot oriented along the E-W axis limits options as far as building orientation is concerned. By developing a program of differentiated units, we are able to carve out the building block such that each unit is provided a range of solar exposures, and spaces within can thus experience a rich tapestry of light and shadow, as well as the desirable amount of passive solar gain.