- R Design
- Hammerwell Inc.
- Raul Garcia
In West Boulder, where the zoning codes favor single-family homes, three households took up residence in an Arch11-designed townhouse project built on a small lot in a light industrial area near the downtown core. The project, a design/build collaboration between Arch11, a Colorado residential and commercial architecture firm, and Hammerwell, a Boulder construction firm – was a demonstration in artfully maximizing a diminutive site to accommodate the needs of three distinctly different households.
Arch 11 principal and founder E.J. Meade designed the triplex on a challenging site which several other architects and builders had previously deemed "impossible." Meade's clients--a 40-something business start-up guru, a 60-something couple readying to retire, and a 70-some retired couple--signed on while the project was still early in the design process. "We had to wrestle the site plan in a way so that there was equity of views and equity of size across the households," Meade says. "Each client had their own desires-including how much square footage they wanted. Finding a design that could knit all these needs together was a great challenge."
The configuration quickly diverged from the expected side-by-side alignment. Instead of lining up the units, they’re staggered and shifted to optimize views and southern exposure. With a footprint about half the size of a tennis court, each two-story unit was designed for its specific location and homeowner needs, yet they share a common architectural DNA that creates a rhythm across the site. The refined exterior material palette – a modern and timeless composition of glass, stucco, metal siding and a wood rainscreen that enhances thermal performance and durability – maintains a minimalist language. Open floor plans, large windows and the conscious integration of house and garden further relate the residences.
Each residence has two bedrooms with two-and-a-half bathrooms―and unit sizes range from about 1,500 sf. to 1,900 sf. Meade sited each townhouse to ensure equal access to the famed Flatiron views, natural ventilation and southern exposure. In addition to private outdoor space, the three townhomes share an outdoor dining area dubbed the "piazza." Entry paths were also designed to foster casual interaction between the occupants. The living arrangement presents a great example of the future of sustainable land use, design, and living in West.
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