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photo of The Red House
Photo: Bruce Van Inwegen

The Red House

Denver, Colorado

The Red House

Denver, Colorado

  • Design Principal

    Jim Olson

This house and courtyard occupy an interior lot in Denver’s LoDo (Lower Downtown) area. The owners, avid art collectors, moved from the suburbs to this redeveloping warehouse district out of commitment to urban living and pride in their city. Their allegiance to art and urbanism guided the design, which explores the relationship between art, community, scale, and time. It is at once a museum, a home, and a response to urban context.

In plan and elevation, the house emulates the ordered city grid and its alternation of solids and voids. The program is organized by levels: first floor as public gallery (museum); second floor as private living (nest); and the third floor as the spiritual space (sanctuary).

The art and architecture embody strong historical content. The building’s massing, articulation, and use of the red color of the Indian sandstone relate it to the historic district formally and materially. The result is a contemporary urban residence that blends both home and museum into a contextually sensitive design. Interior design by Terry Hunziker.




AIA Summit 2000 Western International Design Awards, Merit Award


AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Awards, Honor Award


AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Awards, Honor Award



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Brooke, James. “Denver Stands Out in Trend Toward Living in Downtown.” The New York Times, 29 Dec. 1998, A1, A10. Print.

Hill, David. “Downtown Denver gets an upscale house—a live-in museum of sorts.” Architectural Record, March 1998, 42. Print.

Rawlings, Irene. “Going to town.” Art & Antiques, Nov. 1998, 74-81. Print.