real estate development
Gunawan defines herself as a progressive architect. When people hear the term progressive architect they get intimidated. In her experience, people assume it means something technical and lofty, but she stands by the term. It means always improving, turning failures into opportunities. In practice that means building upon what already exists. This is the philosophy behind the name of her architecture design and build firm, The Only Way is Up.
For over two decades, Urban Villages has developed and operated extraordinary projects across
the United States that define environmental stewardship while delivering strong financial
returns. Its impressive portfolio includes Denver’s iconic Larimer Square, which successfully
combined specialty placemaking and innovative urban farming; Denver’s Sugar Block, which
blended adaptive re-use of the Historic Sugar Building with architecturally dynamic urban infill;
West Village at UC Davis, the largest planned Net-Zero energy community in U.S.; and RailSpur,
a multi-project revitalization in Seattle featuring adaptive re-use of historic warehouses
retrofitted for LEED Platinum certification.