The BUILDER - Wm. S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence is produced by BUILDER magazine and sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.
The BUILDER - Wm. S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence is produced by BUILDER magazine and sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.

UNTIL THE GARDEN CROSSING townhomes appeared on the scene, the north side of Boulder, Colo., had not seen any major residential development in 20 years. But now the simple, brightly colored structures have spawned a flurry of activity, which is more than any community could hope for. “It has made the north side look new,” says architect Rick New.

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Located on a triangular site that previously held a drive-in movie theater, Garden Crossing provides an affordable housing solution in an eclectic, environmentally conscious urban neighborhood. The developer, Peak Properties, asked for contemporary, energy-efficient townhomes and carriage units over garages, and DTJ Design delivered the goods.

Drawing inspiration from the miners' cottages that are characteristic of the region, the architects designed simple forms, articulated with bold colors, corrugated metal siding, concrete blocks, and patterned stucco. Ranging in size from 620 to 1,628 square feet, units are marked by light-filled interiors and lofts with spiral staircases. Each has at least one attached garage and a deck or balcony that extends the living space to the outside and exploits the mountain views.

In addition to its distinctive good looks, the project exceeds Energy Star and green building standards by at least 30 percent. Each home is designed for passive solar heating in winter, using overhangs and steel awnings to help minimize heat gain in warmer months. Other notable features include recycled content insulation, low volatile organic compound paints, low-flow faucets, and super-efficient boilers and heaters.

Categories: Townhouse less than 2,000 square feet (grand); Focus on affordability; Entrant/Architect/ Landscape architect: DTJ Design, Boulder, Colo.; Builder/Developer: Peak Properties, Boulder; Land planner: Barrett Studios, Boulder; Interior designer: HW Home, Boulder