Roth Sheppard The micro-unit fever that’s swept across cramped metropolises San Francisco and New York has reached a new city: Denver.

The Denver Architectural League recently kicked off a tiny-home design competition for an eight-unit building located downtown. Each of the apartments are capped at 375 square feet, which is still larger than San Francisco’s 220-square-foot units or New York’s minimum-250-square-foot abodes.

The proposed site lies near the South Platte River, about two miles from downtown, and it is across from TAXI, a mixed-use business and residential district. The sloped land was chosen because its odd shape cannot accommodate traditional housing. The competition brief calls for two parking spots for Smart Cars and six spaces for bike parking. The micro-units’ real draw will be the drastically lowered rent — about $500 to $700 a month is the goal.

Jeff Sheppard, principal of Roth Sheppard Architects, told Architizer that the contest was a chance to counteract bland projects in Denver, where north downtown apartments can cost up to $2,000 per month in rent: “Even though they’re building apartments as fast as they can in the city, there’s not a lot of variety in what’s offered… I don’t think anybody’s done exploration in really thinking about how to get prices down or how to start to rethink what a living quarters could be for someone.”

The deadline to register is May 1, with entries due May 9. Roth Sheppard Architects will host an exhibition of the entries during the AIA National Convention in Denver from June 20th to 22nd. The official registration site is here.

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