A bold approach to the traditional townhouse

Merit Award: Catherine Mercer and Yong Cho, Studio Completiva, Denver (303/477-9156)

Challenge: The Prospect Park development in Longmont, near Boulder, was designed to showcase “New Urbanist” planning principles, which are inspired by traditional, compact, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods from the early 20th century. But for this project, the charge was a little different: to design eight attached homes that follow the spirit of the new town plan without creating the look of a traditional streetscape from that era.

Solution: The architects were able to emphasize transitional spaces like stoops and porches on the front, porches on the back, and detached garages on alleys at the rear of the lot while giving each house a contemporary twist. They did so by designing a series of brightly colored, two- and three-story loftlike units that create an irregular line along the street.

Special effects:
• The key feature animating the front façade is a corner window in the master bedroom of each unit; the design brings in as much daylight as possible. An overhang or trellislike frame defines each front entry.

• The bright colors and simple shapes of each unit ― some roofs are curved, some flat to include decks, and some angled― make each home easily identifiable.