ELEVATE Apartments



Englewood, Colorado

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What do you get when a city seeks to convert a single-family residential neighborhood into a high-density district dedicated to both living and medical needs? Well, a bit of a design challenge to say the least… But the real answer is an innovative design that uses its constraints as an opportunity rather than a setback. ELEVATE Apartments is a multi-family residential project that took an approximately 1/8th acre single-family residential site and provided not two, not three, but six dwelling units! And what’s really unique about ELEVATE is that none of these units are located on the ground floor.

With a major hospital and several healthcare facilities nearby, the primary goal was to provide as many short-term rentals as possible for users that need direct access to these facilities. And of course, we want architecture to be both functional AND attractive. So, with that in mind the building is accentuated with a full-height eroded glass corner at the project’s only stairwell, a vegetative wall visible to all passers-by, and a board-formed concrete barrier wall that both screens and protects the bicycle parking spaces just beyond.

As with many high-density residential projects, the biggest design hurdle was providing enough parking. This constraint is ultimately what led to a podium-style parking plan, which left the ground level open to vehicles and raised the dwelling units up overhead.  While the majority of the building utilizes wood-framed construction, the primary steel frame, combined with exposed K-braces at ground level, allows for the cantilevering of the second and third floors.

In addition to ground-level parking, the building’s main floor provides a consolidated mail station for its residents, an enclosed stairwell, and elevator access. Because absolutely none of the projects dwelling units are located on the ground floor, ALL units in the project are Type B accessible, and the elevator accounts for Step 1 of unit accessibility.

The second and third floors then house the apartment units, of which there are four single-bedroom units and two, two-bedroom units. This project was a fantastic design exercise that pushed the boundaries of just how small a Type B accessible unit can be. Coming in at only 510 SF for the single-bedroom units, these cozy spaces still provide all necessities for comfortable daily life while maintaining required clearances at pathways, kitchen appliances and plumbing fixtures.