Bottle & the Bowl

residential architecture | renovation & addition

The Lower Highlands neighborhood is developing at a rapid rate. As a response, many century old homes are demolished in favor of new construction. This wave of gentrification is faced by many neighborhoods in Denver. This project was taken as a challenge to create a modern architectural intervention that preserves and adds to the character of the historical home.

This project is a renewal of an existing 1894 house that sits on a 25 foot wide urban lot. 

Early in the design process, it was decided that the material integrity of the existing stone and brick would be maintained as well as the pure form of the 1894 house. The resultant shape was refined into a "bottle for light" through the addition of a vaulted skylight. 

To connect the old and the new, a corridor and stair were designed to bridge the entry steps to the rear balcony. The private courtyard nested between these two volumes allows light to enter into the social/living spaces while the thick masonry of the original structure separates these brighter spaces from the sleeping areas.

The modern addition is designed with a floating roof that lifts at both ends to let light stream in from both the courtyard and the backyard – creating a “bowl of light”.  The west and east walls are both transparent and diaphanous to allow light and space to pass through the living and dining areas and lead guests to the views of downtown from the back balcony and rooftop deck.

The Denver recipient of the American Institute of Architects Citation award.

Photographs by Klug Studio