Last Saturday, Stacey Root and I, along with a number of other teams made up of local architects, participated in the DesignBuild challenge at Rembrandt Yard. A three-hour architecture competition, each pair of architect teams were given an existing Boulder building to propose a new vision. Stacey and I were assigned Lolitas market at 800 West Pearl Street. The existing, low gabled building was slated for demolition and then halted. The City is now requesting that the front facades and half of the roof be maintained. Our challenge was to add the requested residential units and artist’s spaces while preserving some portion of the market. Our solution was to transform Lolitas into an open-air market sheltered below the existing building’s heavy timber trusses and a new glass roof. The new residential and retail spaces are housed in a new, predominantly masonry building that curves through the site, reminiscent of the location a former railroad siding.
The three hour competition was very intense with the work executed largely in SketchUp and real-time projected on large screens overhead. Stacey and I were quite surprised and somewhat intimidated when after an hour or so into the task we turned around to see a hovering crowd watching our design deliberations.
Thanks goes out to Boulder Space and the Boulder Design Festival for sponsoring the competition and organizing the event. And thanks as well to the other participating architects (Joe Vigil, David Barrett, Harvey Hine, Scott Rodwin and Larry Weeks of Commarts) and especially Stacey.