Unusual Serendipity

Lee Hill Supportive Housing

Boulder, CO

Lee Hill presents a confluence of unusual serendipity – a physical representation of renewal of lost lives and a forgotten neighborhood.

Lee Hill Permanent Supportive Housing provides 31 formerly homeless individuals long-term, community-based housing in a respectful and healing environment. The individuals who inhabit supportive housing typically exhibit some special need, often including mental illness, addiction or physical disability. The building design for Lee Hill illustrates how Architecture can function as a powerful partner in helping individuals with challenges live independently.

The building presents a quiet presence to those who pass by on their way up the hill to higher elevations and high value homes in North Boulder. Here, at the bottom of the hill is the Broadway Corridor, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood that fortunately has maintained many of its own quirks, including overhead power lines, rural mail boxes and industrial relics. This sort of urban dysfunction has been embraced by the local arts communities who have coined the moniker “NOBO” for the corridor.

The building is focused on an inner courtyard where residents can enjoy Colorado’s spectacular scenery and sunlight without the perceived critical scrutiny of the outside neighborhood. Dwelling units range from 400 square feet to 500 square feet, with their small size balanced by a series of collaborative and teaching spaces filled with daylight and orientation. The ground floor features a series of light, bright spaces that foster partnerships between the neighbors and the residents to flourish – including a covered, outdoor studio where artists can teach and exhibit their work.


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