Shape Architecture is an award winning contemporary architecture firm based in Denver, Colorado. We are experts in sustainable architecture, with over a decade of experience designing innovative projects that respond to the surrounding context, communities, and climate. We believe homes should be healthier and more comfortable to inhabit, consume less energy, and respond better to the surrounding local community and climate. Our designs are highly contextual, work in harmony with the natural environment, and are beautifully resilient. We believe in harnessing the power of design to shape positive change by taking a balanced approach. We focus our experience and energy to implement positive change for:
• building occupants through increased health, comfort and fulfillment
• our communities through inclusive, interactive spaces
• our planet by improving energy efficiency and reducing our built
environment’s carbon footprint
The Englewood Passive House Duplex sets a new standard for high-end low-energy living as the first multi-family Passivhaus International (PHI) certified project in Colorado.
The 2-unit, three story building is situated on a difficult site adjacent to a busy arterial road. Driven by the acoustic and visual challenges of the site, the goal of creating a quiet, comfortable, healthy indoor environment aligned with the Passivhaus standard. The exclusively electric, high-performance homes achieve both comfort and energy efficiency through an air-tight building envelope, super insulation and continuously ventilated indoor air. High-tech windows and super durable membrane, sheathing and insulation make the home interior peacefully quiet – even situated at the end of a residential street that meets a highway.
The design features a bank of triple-pane south facing windows, optimizing passive solar gain and bringing dramatic daylight into the heart of the home on all three levels, while shutting out sound and pollution. Strategically-placed skylights bring diffused daylight into private interior spaces. Both units command sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains from the upper stories. A large balcony serves as a dramatic extension to a spacious party room on the third floor; large expanses of windows bring natural light and warmth into the home throughout both units.
The bold design, with rich wood and metal siding emphasized by large window openings, was the result of a careful and pragmatic approach to optimize the home for passive solar while shielding occupants from the busy highway; prioritizing simplicity in order to optimize energy performance.