February 19, 2013
Roth Sheppard’s design competition is inspired by micro-units in Europe, such as this short-stay apartment in The Hague by Maff. Photo courtesy of Maff
Architects love to design micro-apartments, but do people love to live in them? Jeff Sheppard, principal of Roth Sheppard Architects, hopes so. He and his colleagues at the Denver Architectural League are betting that tiny units will appeal to young Denverites who find themselves priced out of the mortgage market and who want to live in dense neighborhoods. The league recently launched a tiny-dwelling design competition that adds up to a particularly tall order: an eight-unit net-zero building on a difficult slice of riverbank on the outskirts of downtown. At 375 square feet a pop, the units will definitely be more generous than the 220-square-footers planned for San Francisco and the 250 now allowed in New York—but still diminutive compared with Denver’s 500-square-foot prefab tiny Starbucks. Read more!