Portfolio Project Detail

ROOTS In Transition Thiago Rocha Silvino, Michael Monthan, and Meghan Duarte-Silva

The building’s visual connections to Downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountain front range, combined with a physical link to its immediate context, enhance the user experience. The site exists isolated in an urban island enclosed on all four sides by arterial streets and rail tracks with only two points of access on the South side. Our solution sees connecting the site Northward to the adjacent park and Platte River Trail system as a necessity for vitalization of the entire area.

Connectivity is not just a driver on the outside of the building, but also permeates into the interior. Drawing inspiration from the slot canyons of the Colorado Plateau, a light well cuts through the core of the building washing the living units situated around this core with soft natural light freeing up floor plate at exterior windows for communal amenity programming. The large heavy timber structural bays allow for growth within for added density as demand requires, and flexibility for movement and coupling of standard living modules.

The orientation of the building is shifted to open up to both Inca and Huron Street. The spaces created on ground level from this shift aid in drawing visitors into and through the site. On the West, a gradual ramp rises up from Inca Street cutting through landscape and creating a tiered leisure seating. On the East, visitors step up 4’ to a level 1 plaza, where a set of grand stairs rise up with intermediate activation plazas cutting through the building for a connection to the pedestrian bridge and park beyond. Below, the East corner operates as an activity hub for residents and visitors alike. A bike share program and kayak rentals activate this East frontage. ROOTS’ connection to the neighborhood, community, and Colorado lifestyle is at the soul of this Co-Living facility.

At the heart of ROOTS communal living is an urban farming focused shared economy. The premium space on the roof is occupied by a series of hydroponic green houses that will not only grow food that is consumed by residents or processed for future use, but also will be a revenue generator being sold at an on-site weekend farmers market as well as to the restaurant space on ground level. The hydroponic growing concept which uses up to 10 times less water than traditional field crop watering methods and requires less space is in direct response to the scarcity of water in the drought-stricken Colorado and American Southwest. With 35,000 s.f. of roof space all water used in the urban farm will come from on-site rainwater harvesting.

Our roofs further add to our carbon positive design with a photo-voltaic array which includes both on-site and near-site arrays for a total of 19,000 s.f. providing power to community E-vehicles and almost 2 times the energy required for this 90,000 s.f. building. E-vehicle infrastructure works in tandem with a Vehicle-to-grid power program for emergency back-up