Radian/Placematters Designs Micro-Housing Village for Denver's Homeless

For Denver’s homeless, Radian/Placematters worked for a reduced fee to design a temporary village. Photography by JC Buck.

Not everyone who’s homeless has the option of going to a shelter. Couples, the transgender, and those with pets and certain disabilities may face obstacles in the traditional system. So Denver’s came up with a solution in the form of tiny houses for temporary occupancy. For the first iteration, called , the design nonprofit’s executive director, architect , worked with the housing nonprofit to house 15 people in a cluster of 11 units occupying 1⁄3 acre. Each of the units has aluminum siding and roofing, a tidy pine porch, and a 100-square-foot interior with pine plywood paneling that residents are allowed to paint. A yurt contains the communal kitchen, while the restrooms and showers are in separate structures. Reinen even designed a mobile laundry truck.

The 1/3-acre site. Photography courtesy of Radian/Placematters.

Required by zoning regulations to be transportable without being on wheels, the units were attached to concrete foundations with angle brackets and carriage bolts. Once the six-month permit expired, the whole village was hoisted, via forklift, across an alley to the next site. An entirely new village is then coming to a historic district nearby, with units slated to house homeless women and transgender people.

Standing-seam aluminum facades and concrete foundations. Photography by JC Buck.
Its kitchen yurt. Photography by JC Buck.

> See more from the January 2018 issue of Docservis