Shift Top House by Meridian 105 Architecture


The Shift-top house, located is Denver’s trendy Lower Highlands neighborhood, is a renovation and addition to an existing 1940′s bungalow. The original structure, with solid concrete foundations and a brick exterior shell proved to be a good base for an addition, and an opportunity to save cost on excavation and recreation of these components. The design team’s solution was to remove the roof and add upwards, essentially popping the top on the original home.

Denver’s zoning code posed a unique challenge to the addition.  Not only was the original structure out of conformance to the City’s standard for side yard setbacks, encroaching by over one foot, any new additions in height would be required to comply with the current bulk plane standards which call for structures over 17’ tall to pull away from the property line as their height increases.  In response, the new 2nd and 3rd floor volumes incrementally shift at each level relative to the base.  The resulting addition cantilevers by over 4’ from the original brick home.

In all, 3 bedrooms were added to the 2nd floor and a rooftop deck & office to the 3rd. At the first level, the rear wall of the home was removed and replaced with glass, opening the interior to the back yard.  The second floor addition overhangs a private patio in the back with a 2-sided fireplace to the interior.  A dramatic interior void connects all three floors with an open staircase.

Architects: Meridian 105 Architecture
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Architect In Charge: Chad Mitchell
Structural Engineering: Structural Design Collaborative
Interior Design: Maureen Conway
General Contractor: Caliber Construction
Area: 3,300 sq ft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Raul J. Garcia


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