Taking a page from the Traditional Neighborhood Development playbook, this 2- to 3-bedroom house targets a growing segment of new-home buyers whose sensibilities are more urban than those of their parents. Designed for a 1,300-home development outside Denver, it features vertical massing that matches the proportions of the community’s relatively narrow, alley-loaded lots and a front entry and kitchen that prioritize convenience and visual connection with the streetscape.

At a hair under 2,000 square feet, the building’s layout progresses in linear fashion from the kitchen to a great room to a bedroom/study and utility space to a rear garage that is obscured from street view. Interior spaces are oriented toward a courtyardlike side yard enclosed by fencing and the sidewall of the adjacent house. Upstairs, the transverse stair hall creates two separate zones: at the front of the house, the master bedroom suite, which includes a corner seating area with glass on three sides; at the rear, a secondary bedroom with its own bath. A split in the plan—the master suite is several risers above the secondary bedroom—“makes the master suite feel more exclusive,” says architect Steven James.

The building seeks a stylistic sweet spot between modernism and traditionalism. The jury predicted the finished product will enjoy broad appeal, praising its “attractive” exterior, sunny interior, and “very creative” floor plan.

On Site This project balances density, privacy, and daylighting by using etched glass in windows that face a neighboring side courtyard. Translucent panels in the garage door admit daylight and turn the garage into a giant lantern at night.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Denver, CO.