The Denver Architectural League chose the winners of its Micro-Housing Ideas Competition on May 17, as well as seven formal recognitions at a public reception held at Humphries Poli Architects in Denver.

Inspired by a call for more innovation in Denver’s existing multifamily housing market, this competition offered designers an opportunity to re-invent smaller, more affordable housing.

The competition was hypothetically based on a site located across from the TAXI development in Denver’s growing River North District. Parameters included design of an eight-unit micro-housing complex that provides an entryway to fit with the TAXI community; public access to the river; an affordable-housing design; modularity and prefabrication; “thrivability” as it relates to natural ecologies and human modes of life; and the appropriate use of technology, materials and building systems.

The following entries, all four submitted from outside the United States, were acknowledged as winners at the reception.

First Place ($3,000 Award) 

Armando Birlain López
Querétaro, Mexico

Micro Urban

Second Place ($750 Award)

Tadeja Vidoni 
Alicante, Spain

Micro Units

Honorable Mention ($375 Award)

A43 Aquitectura  (Team members: Mendes Pinheiro/Leader, Nuno Costa, Jorge Lamas, Tiago Silva, Diogo Ferrao, Diogo Pereira & Sérgio Almeida)
Vila Niva de Gaia, Portugal


Honorable Mention ($375 Award)

Ahmed Hamdi, Ahmed Hamdi Architects, Cairo, Egypt

“In evaluating entries for the Micro Housing Ideas Competition, the jury looked for approaches that reconsidered the potential for multifamily 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,” said Jury Chair George Hoover, architect and professor emeritus of architecture, University of Colorado Denver.

“In our biosphere, thrivability 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. An exhibition of all 70 submittals, including 25 from outside the United States, opened on May 10 at the Temenos Gallery inside Roth Sheppard Architects’ design studio at 1900 Wazee St., Suite 100, Denver. It will continue through June 21.