There is a new way of designing and building in Colorado Springs. You don’t need to live in Los Angeles, New York City, Berlin, or Beijing to get high-performance, modern designs for your home. You can now get them right here in our own hometown. The design/build firm of markharris ARCHITECTS, an internationally award-winning and recognized design firm located right here in Colorado Springs, is using 21st-century solutions towards 21st-century problems in beginning to create a new form of sustainable, responsible, performative homes in the Pikes Peak Region.
Mark Harris, founding principal of the firm, prefers to keep a low profile even as his work has recently gained national and international recognition for its innovation and trend-setting capabilities.
Though his work has recently been exhibited at the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale, the “Oscars’ of the architecture world held every two years in Venice, Italy, he maintains that “it’s the work that should do the talking. If it is timeless design with quality construction, and if it reflects a responsible and engaged living experience, it will be seen as an enlightened structure of lasting value rather than just another tired, out-dated building.”
Not only is Mr. Harris’s innovative work the recipient of awards from some of the world’s largest and most prestigious awards platforms, but a monograph book on his work will also soon be published by a major international art/architecture publisher. Like the Canopy House, his work is noted for its ability to ‘responsibly merge the technosphere of our creation with the biosphere of our inheritance’. A key component in all of Mr. Harris’ work is the marriage of forward-thinking technology and forward-thinking sustainability - living comfortably yet responsibly.
The Canopy House is to be perched in the foothills of Colorado Springs, and because of its unique design, offers panoramic views of both the Cheyenne Mountain range and the downtown region. The house will have a three-car garage,
4 bedrooms, and 3-1/2 baths, with upper and lower levels carefully nestled into the sloping site. Though it has a large expanse of glass to create a visual relationship between indoor and outdoor, much of the glass area is shaded by the canopy and other building masses as an energy conservation measure.
Our cars, our computers, and even our toasters are made with more technological advancements than our buildings. We unfortunately still construct our homes and buildings in 2019 the same way we did in 1919
A fully-glazed and dramatically cantilevered main-level kitchen, dining, and living room spaces afford expansive views of Downtown, contrasted by the more private and subtle view of Cheyenne Mountain from the master bedroom suite and the guest room/office. The lower level contains two bedrooms and a shared jack-and-jill bath coupled with a family and entertainment room that opens onto a private patio area.
The house’s namesake, the prominent canopy that spans the main house, is not only designed to shade the glass but also cleverly hides a photovoltaic system (solar panels) that works to reduce its energy footprint and lower monthly utility bills. The building is also partially covered with phenolic panels, themselves a high-tech ‘rain-screen’ that not only provides a maintenance-free and fire-resistant barrier but also acts as a heat-sink in dissipating heat gain.
The building uses innovations that have become keynotes of a ‘markharris ARCHITECTS’ design, specifically those of ‘Component Design Strategies’ which borrows proven processes from industrial and automotive industries to provide a highly-performative, highly-sustainable, and highly-engaging work of architecture. Many parts of the house, such as the dramatic steel and glass bridge that composes the main house, are produced under the precise conditions of a steel shop rather than loosely constructed on site.
“Our cars, our computers, and even our toasters are made with more technological advancements than our buildings. We unfortunately still construct our homes and buildings in 2019 the same way we did in 1919, and yet we wonder why our buildings are not performing better and keeping up with the wide bandwidth of changes we find everywhere else in our lives. The current models for residential housing are bloated, out-moded, out-dated, and out-paced; it’s time for a new Renaissance in residential design. We are simply bringing architecture and construction into the 21st century. It’s time, and I feel Colorado Springs should start being seen as a place where responsible innovation and progress can happen.”
This first of several designs is currently being finished for production, and will soon be listed on the Colorado Springs MLS. Similar homes are planned for the Pikes Peak Region.
There is a new way to both design and build in the Pikes Peak region, and as in the days of old, Colorado Springs just might become the center of national and international attention - this time for design.
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markharris ARCHITECTS, PC
1329 North Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903