Independent Architecture is a Denver office with work around the world. We approach each project with a mix of curiosity, intellectualism, and experience that enables us to create thoughtful and unusual buildings, objects, and environments.

Our office choreographs the interplay of design and pop culture to create projects that advance architectural thinking while appealing to broad audiences. This approach includes developing new forms of suburban architecture, designing provocative contexts for viewing art, and modifying ordinary objects and materials to make offbeat buildings. Built work includes houses, art galleries, and a dormitory, among other building types.
Paul Andersen founded Independent in 2009. He shapes the office’s agenda and practice, working on design projects in professional and academic contexts. He was appointed a Fulbright Specialist in Architecture, teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has previously been on the architecture faculties of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Cornell University. He has exhibited and curated work at the Venice Biennale (U.S. Pavilion), the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, The Great Poor Farm, MoMA, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. He has written and edited several books, including The Same Something for Everyone (Park Books), The Monuments Power the Cars (Actar), and The Architecture of Patterns (W.W. Norton). Paul is a licensed architect.
Selected Awards
Progressive Architecture (P/A) Award, Motherhouse, Denver

American Architecture Prize, honorable mention,
Summer Vault, Chicago

Imagine Colorado, runner-up,
Playgrounds, Denver

AIA Denver, Young Architect of the Year 2015

AIA Colorado, Merit Award, Guggenheim Helsinki

AIA Chicago, Honor Award, Two Barns, Denver

AIA Denver, Merit Award, City Loop, Denver

AIA Colorado, Young Architects Award, MCA Bubble Garden, Denver

City County Building Plaza, finalist, open competition, Indianapolis

Reimagine Play at City Park, winning proposal, awarded project, Denver
Stücki Shopping Basel, winning proposal, awarded project, Basel

MCA Denver Fox Family Ideabox Competition, winning proposal, awarded project

Denver Botanic Gardens Competition, winning proposal, awarded project, Denver

Lo Hi Plaza Competition, finalist, Denver

MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program, finalist, New York

Graham Foundation Grant, The Architecture of Patterns (W.W. Norton, 2010)

Cornell Faculty Innovation Grant, $55,000 technology development grant, Ithaca

AIA NextLA Award, LA Now / The New Sprawl, Los Angeles

High Line Competition, Jury Selection Award, New York