Northwest Denver Traditional
A visit to nearly any Front Range city makes abundantly clear the nearly unprecedented pace of development and construction our rapidly growing state is currently experiencing. Aside from the ubiquitous cluster of tower cranes adding their shape to the downtown Denver skyline these days, nowhere is this more common than in residential northwest Denver, where the built environment seems to undergo seismic changes daily. The area comprises some of Denver’s most historic neighborhoods, and traditional building types have typically been the norm; the rich patchwork of Queen Anne, Craftsman, Bungalow and Denver Square, among others, have made these neighborhoods some of the city’s most desirable. As mid and high-rise structures grow along the I-25 corridor, however, so too does the textured, boxy massing of contemporary residences become increasingly more common within the neighborhoods. Building sites featuring traditional architecture are fleeting, if not impossible to find, even in the heart of the city’s historic landmark districts.
Treo Architects celebrates this diversity of styles as an opportunity for a new generation of Coloradans to express their values and for new designers to make their mark, and it is inspiring to watch the inevitable evolution of the area’s architectural character in real time. That said, we believe firmly in a balance between old and new, and in doing our part to maintain the identity of the existing the built environment.
The project in these photos is one of several that we have in progress in northwest Denver; we love the opportunity for creativity afforded by working in this area. Whether fitting a contemporary residence into the existing fabric of historic structures, or, as in this case, designing a sensitive addition (tailored to modern life) with the language of traditional architecture, architecture occurs in harmony with — not in spite of — the specific constraints of each project.
This 1200 square foot home is an early 20th century structure, situated on the edge of two of Denver’s historic landmark districts. It was important to the owners to contribute to and reinforce theidentity of the neighborhood in which they will build their lives, and also necessary to develop a program for a modern family, withplenty of room to grow. 2 beds and 2 baths becomes 5/3.5, adding nearly 40% more livable area in a footprint only 100 square feet larger.
The interior remodel produces a gracious, contemporary open concept, featuring modern detailing an amenities, but not at thecost of history: some traditional elements and details retain the memory of everything that has come before.
The second story addition integrates seamlessly with the original ground floor, featuring traditional massing and detail on the front facade. The rear of the house provides a counterpoint to this traditional language; the stucco and half-timbered detailing express personal identity and a bit of whimsy, and make the private rear yard a unique personal and homey space