Previewing the Denver Modern Home Tour: Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Nothing gets more Westword readers talking these days than the topic of development in Denver.

Likewise, there's plenty of debate about modern buildings popping up in neighborhoods all over the Mile High City.

Some people love them. Others hate them — or at least dislike the often jumbled juxtaposition of new-school design and classic architecture.

Against this backdrop comes the 2016 Denver Modern Home Tour, which takes place on Saturday, May 21. The structures featured on the tour will strike many as spectacular, and understandably so. But expect to hear heated debate about how they do or don't fit into the Denver that we all love.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 21st; tickets are $35. Below, check out seven Denver Modern Home Tour stops via sample photos and accompanying text from the event's website. For additional pics and details, as well as ticket-buying info, click here.

A: Denver, CO

Architect: David L. Berton, AIA — RealArchitecture

This modern house took advantage of a narrow vacant lot in the hottest neighborhood in Denver. The residence was designed from the ground up in conjunction with the client and homeowner, who were looking for contemporary style to go with present-day comfort.

Every detail was considered: Handmade copper-art siding, elevator, a glass-enclosed wine cellar, a golf simulator room, custom stainless spa on the roof, tilt-and-turn windows, radiant flooring, and whole-house integrated control from a phone. RealArchitecture and UnRealConstruction worked with the client from land acquisition through move-in to create the house of his dreams!

B: Denver, CO

Architect: Elemental Homes & RKD Architects
Photography: Spotlight home tours

This home was originally designed in 1968 by Charles Haertling, one of Colorado’s most talented architects. In 2013, RKD Architects and Elemental Homes were selected to complete the design and construction of a major renovation to bring this spectacular home up to today's higher standard of living. The renovation has preserved the original integrity of the home while adding a master bedroom suite, new cylindrical glass entry feature, and a small rooftop pavilion where the owners will be able to enjoy a sunset over the mountains and city skyline.

  C: Denver, CO

Architect: Tim Pickard — Monopole Design Architecture and Construction
Photography: Ron Faliede, Tim Pickard

A new residence on an infill lot in the established neighborhood of City Park West. A modern structure that respects the scale, rhythm and proportions of the neighborhood, yet employs the latest in passive solar design techniques in its siting, construction and mechanics. Light, color, tactile surfaces and natural materials all add to the human experience of the residence.

Continue to preview more attractions on the Denver Modern 

D: Denver, CO

Architect: tres birds workshop
Photography: Brooks Freehill

LUMINA means light. Working with the sun as our main project collaborator, tres birds workshop designed this multi-unit, mixed-use development in Denver’s North Side neighborhood as our answer to living light, vital in dense times.

Natural sunlight is woven and prevalent throughout the building. The light core, created by a series of skylights, helps illuminate the common areas and connects each unit to a natural light source from the interior. Unit dwellers have the ability to regulate temperature and light through the building’s envelope system, made up of 444 individual 6’ x 6’ anodized aluminum screens. Inspired by symmetry patterns found in Middle Eastern art, the screens were 100% manufactured in Denver, Colorado.

Lumina uses the sun for energy in two ways, both passively and through the use of a PV solar system that helps reduce the need for electricity and reliance on fossil fuels. The vertical solar system innovates the traditional linear design by using solar panels to also create the wall system for the main stair tower, a move that consolidates and conserves building materials.

In an area of rapid transformation, density housing allows cities to build up instead of out to meet demands of increased populations, conserving surrounding open space and preventing urban sprawl. In order to minimize impact on the surrounding neighborhood, an underground parking structure was created. Previously the location of beloved Italian restaurant Pagliacci’s, when the owners sold the plot it was important to mark and honor the site’s history. The restaurant was well decorated with signature neon signs – each was repaired and reincorporated into the new building.

Ultimately Lumina is a project that represents an exploration in creative housing solutions for complex development problems. How do we grow our cities sustainably? How do we meet the needs of multiple stakeholders? How do we create places for people to live that promote health, wellness and vitality?

E: Twin Lakes, CO

Interior Designer: Jonathan Biermann — Neoteric Décor LLC

This home is a three-bedroom, two and a half baths with an attached two-car garage and small side courtyard. The home is located in one of Denver’s newest communities, called Midtown.

Midtown is the largest development of new homes in Denver in over 40 years. It’s a 184-acre new urban community that is still in process of being built. All of the homes in Midtown are extremely energy efficient and have both modern and contemporary finishes. Within the next year the community will be connected by walking and biking trails and the new Gold Line will open a light rail station approximately a quarter of a mile away later this fall. This home was designed by Neoteric Décor LLC with a mixture of mid-century modern and new modern furnishings.

F: Denver, CO

Architect: Peter Pappas — Pappas Architecture and Design

This progressive modern masterpiece built by award-winning Pappas Architecture and Design boasts stunning architectural features that include an open main floor layout, glass walls, immense natural light, and a one-of-a-kind staircase. Every detail has been made with intention and no expense spared, from the custom walnut cabinetry to the barn doors to the landscaping. This sophisticated contemporary residence is minutes to Cherry Creek, next door to Hilltop, walkable to Trader Joe's and the Town Center (coming soon to 9th and Colorado). Step down to an expansive, naturally lit basement with high ceilings, a second kitchen and plenty of entertaining space. Enjoy a loft overlooking the main floor and views of the city. An oversized two-car garage stands aside the quiet backyard. A true piece of art in the middle of the city.

G: Denver, CO

Architect: Aaron Hodgin –- Hodgin Architecture

The High Street residence is a new structure located in central Denver. It was designed to fit on a long, narrow urban lot and attempts to develop an open living floor plan and bring natural light to the central core where the kitchen and stairs are located. There is an immense window opening at the stairs that provides a translucent flood of light to the stairway and central core and yet maintains privacy for the home. Given the narrow lot, we had just enough space to provide a sizable kitchen with an island with bar seating, while maintaining the open flow through the kitchen without breaking up the space. I also developed the front living room and the upstairs front master bedroom suite to capitalize on views to the southwest. There are three sizable bedrooms upstairs with attached bathrooms and wonderful natural light. The master suite has large closet space and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower. The home design provides an inset entry protected from the weather and also provides a mudroom entry to store coats and boots. The design has large sliding doors at the rear that open onto a small covered patio, and intimate garden space that includes a detached garage. The home design provides open, airy spaces filled with natural light and connections to the exterior garden spaces, all on a challenging narrow site in central Denver.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.