Students Develop Affordable Housing in Design Charrette

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October 3-5, 2014

Denver, CO – MURP students in Jennifer Steffel Johnson’s interdisciplinary Urban Housing course worked side-by-side with 40 volunteer professionals in a three-day design charrette in early October.

A design charrette is an intensive, hands-on pre-development workshop that brings together a wide range of disciplines to explore architectural and development options for a particular area or site. This year, the goal was to develop innovative affordable housing on three very different sites in Colorado: Castle Rock, Evans, and Grand Junction.

The collaborative endeavor brought together teams comprised of MURP, MArch, MLA and MUD students with design, finance, construction and development professionals, as well as staff from each of the housing authority clients. To prepare for the charrette, students spent weeks conducting extensive research, visiting the sites and communicating with the clients.

Students experienced the value of working on cross-disciplinary teams, and the satisfaction of knowing that their hard work will ultimately produce high-quality affordable housing for families and seniors in communities across Colorado.

“The team composition was great,” said Rob Rydel, team leader and principal at Oz Architecture. “The strengths of all participants contributed to a well-rounded, comprehensive presentation. I think our client will be very happy to have the deliverables for their internal use—and to attract a number of funding sources we considered.”

This was the fifth annual Housing Colorado Design by Communities Design Charrette, and the first year that the event has been hosted by the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning. The final products of the charrettes were presented at the 2014 Housing Colorado Now! Conference in Vail, Colorado on October 10.


Student Teams:

Castle Rock
Karl Burkhart- MLA
Melissa Dishinger- MArch
Jaxon Fagan- MURP
Wesley Mahan- MArch
Brenda Martinez- MArch
Mathieu Menard- MURP
Kacey Wilkins- MURP

Brittain Allison- MLA
Trevor Clifford- MURP
Caeli Hill- MURP
Mark Kelley- MURP
Omar Lopez- MArch
Drew Stiehl- MURP

Grand Junction
Chase Anderson- MUD
Andrew Chapin- MLA/ MUD
Laia Mitchell- MURP
Beret Odell- MURP
Yelena Onnen- MURP