Micro Urban is a proposed concept for an affordable, modular housing project along the Platte River in Denver, Colorado. Designed by Mexican firm Studio de Arquitectura y Ciudad, the project uses flexible modular housing and a plug-and-play mentality to create vibrant living spaces. Located adjacent to the river, the micro housing project utilizes rainwater collection, solar power and the natural resources of the surrounding area to minimize its impact. The project recently took first place in Denver Architecture League's Micro Housing Ideas Competition and won a prize of $3,000.
The Denver Architecture League Micro Housing Ideas Competition received around a hundred entries from across the country and the globe for an affordable and micro housing project. The competition was based on a real site cross from the TAXI development in Denver’s up and coming River North District. Goals of the competition included a proposal for 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.”
Out of all the entries, Mexican firm Studio de Arquitectura y Ciudad took home first place with their concept called Micro Urban. Not only was it a concept for a forward-thinking and sustainable housing project, but it also deeply integrated it into the surroundings. The prefab project is made up of a variety of different sized modular pods for singles, couples or families and sits on the banks of the Platte River. It is powered by the sun and collects rainwater for use inside the development, while a living screen of vegetation changes with the seasons and shields the building from weather.
“Micro Urban is a concept, forever changing and changeable, that recognizes a keen responsibility to both its residents and the larger community around it,” explains the Jury. “The concept exploits the Platte River by maximizing views and access to the water, but it also gives back, meeting the ground in a way that allows the public to share the space, lounging along the currents or enjoying nature hikes around the property. The grid structure is appropriate in the context of surrounding.”
Images ©Studio de Arquitectura y Ciudad