Denver, CO Architects


  • Winners of Micro Housing Ideas Competition Announced
  • May 17, 2013


A six-person Denver-based jury selects 1st, 2nd and Honorable Mention awards to catalyze new ideas, and elevate the conversation about urban housing solutions in the west and beyond

DENVER, Colorado—May 17, 2013—The Denver Architectural League, today announced the winners of their Micro Housing Ideas Competition as well as seven formal "recognitions" at a public reception held at Humphries Poli Architects. 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 the reception. A certificate and cash award will be sent to the winners next week.

"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 at the Temenos Gallery inside Roth Sheppard Architects' design studio [1900 Wazee Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80202] and will continue to welcome media, the design profession, and the public from 9am to 5pm every weekday through Friday, June 21st. For submittal requirements, judging criteria and other information about selection of winners, please see the jury's attached Final Report [or feel free to request a copy].

About the Denver Architectural League:

The Denver Architectural League [DAL] came into existence in 1986 to provide a vehicle to respond to issues of design and practice and create opportunities for design dialogue within the City of Denver. Founded by 10 young architects just beginning their practices, the group used the gallery setting as a way to visually explore ideas and challenges in their projects, their practice and architecture in general. To date, three major competitions/exhibitions have been held, members have come and gone, practices have flourished, the profession has evolved, and the economy has cycled. Yet the original members of the League remain committed to and passionate about the competition as a vehicle for stimulating discourse, engaging professionals, students, educators, the business community and the public in a collaborative design dialogue. The next DAL event is tentatively planned for 2015.




Thank you to everyone who participated in the Micro Housing Ideas competition! We received submittals from across the country and around the globe. The competition jury did not have an easy task; however, after reviewing all the entries, they came to their final decisions. The complete winners list is below.


Click here to view all entries.


First Place:

#67 - Studio de Arquitectura y Ciudad

Armando Birlain López (principal), Wyatt O’Day (project leader), Rodolfo Unda, Joao Pedro Teles Barbosa & Jovana Grujevska

Querétaro, Mexico

Project Name: Micro Urban

Award: $3000.00



Second Place:

#57 - Tadeja Vidoni, Lea Ritonja & Inez Goessens

Alicante, Spain

Project Name: Micro Units

Award: $750.00




Honorable Mentions:

#24 - A43 Aquitectura

Mendes Pinheiro (project leader), Nuno Costa, Jorge Lamas, Tiago Silva, Diogo Ferrao, Diogo Pereira, Sérgio Almeida

Vila Niva de Gaia, Portugal

Project Name: Microhousing/Macropossibilities

Award: $375.00




#78 - Ahmed Hamdi Architects

Cairo, Egypt

Project Name: (none)

Award: $375.00




Technical Achievement:

#31 - Ben Robbins

Denver, Colorado

Project Name: Colony


#39 - Ryan Dawson

Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Project Name: H20


Sound Thinking by a Young Person:

#71 - Trevor Swanson (high school student)

Pickerington, Ohio

Project Name: Passive Flex


Deserving Mention:

#13 - Cesar Marques

Vila N. Cerveira, Portugal

Project Name: TreeHouse Unit


#56 - Matthew Lin

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Project Name: Micro Loft


#19 - Marcus Farr & Leslie Scheppelman

Denver, CO

Project Name: Nano


#89 - Linus Bocklage & Jan Hedemann 

Oldenburg, Germany

Project Name: none


People’s Choice:

#58 - John Carruth

Dallas, Texas

Project Name:  Granola




A big thank you to our jury members who took the time to carefully and thoughtfully consider all the entries!

The jury deliberating.

Our jury:

George Hoover, FAIA Architect and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at University of Colorado Denver

Scott Lindenau,FAIA Design Principal at Studio B Architects and Professor of Architecture at University of Colorado

Mickey Zeppelin, Founder of Zeppelin Development, Inc. and creator of TAXI

Ray Rinaldi, Denver Post Fine Arts Critic

William Logan, Publisher of Modern in Denver Magazine

Chuck Keyes,P.E. Principal at Martin/Martin Structural Engineers