Posts tagged with "Mixed-Use":

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Big changes coming to Westfield Promenade mall in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley

The Westfield Corporation has filed plans to demolish its 43-year old Promenade mall in the far-western San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, aiming to replace the aging complex with a $1.5-billion mixed-use development containing 1,400 residences. The project, with design by Westfield's in-house design and architecture as well as HKS, Johnson Fain, and Togawa Smith Martin Architects, is inspired by the Warner Center 2035 master plan for the surrounding area, which calls for converting the Warner Center purpose-built business district into a functionally-diverse urban neighborhood. Among other things, the plan calls for “a mix of uses that are within walking distance of one another so people can easily walk rather than drive.” The area’s plan, to be implemented in 2035, would also aim to create "complete streets" that “accommodate alternatives to the car, in particular, an internal circulator in the form of a modern streetcar and ‘small slow vehicle’ lanes for bicycles, Segway-like vehicles, electric bicycles, other small electric vehicles, and any other vehicle that does not move faster than a bicycle.” Plans for the Westfield site would incorporate these principles through the addition of new internal, pedestrianized streets that connect to major thoroughfares as well as the use of the site as for “open streets” events that are closed to automobile traffic. Westfield Corporation’s plan for the Promenade mall, sitting just across the street from the area’s namesake Warner Center towers, calls for the addition of 1,400 residential units, 150,000 square feet creative office, 470,000 square feet Class-A office space, and 244,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The project will also contain a 272-room hotel adjacent to the creative offices and a second, 300-room hotel that will be physically connected to the Class-A office component. The housing components of the project will be arranged in low-rise courtyard complexes while the office and hotel components will hug the western and southern edges of the site. Another central component of the project involves a so-called “Entertainment and Sports Center” that will accommodate flexible seating for up to 15,000 spectators. The sports center will aim to boost the community-minded aspects of the new complex, with also include a one-acre central park and upwards of five-acres of rooftop gardens and patio spaces. Construction on the complex is due to begin in 2020 or 2021 and will continue in phases until 2035.
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Chicago to issue RFP for Michael Reese Hospital site

October 12th will mark the start of the City of Chicago’s search for a developer for the former site of the Michael Reese Hospital in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The 49-acre site has been owned by the city since 2009, when it was envisioned as a potential Olympic village for the failed Chicago 2016 Olympic bid. Now the city is looking for developers through a four-month long open request for proposals (RFP). The sprawling Michael Reese Hospital first opened in the 1880s with a stated goal of serving anyone, regardless of nationality or race. Throughout its history, the complex included an educational component and was dedicated to charity, research, and education. When the hospital was shuttered in 2009, it mostly served the African American community of the near South Side. Before its demolition, starting in 2009, the campus included buildings stretching back over 100 years. It also included a group of structures built starting 1946 based on a plan by Walter Gropius, and designed by multiple Chicago firms. The site also included ornate 19th-century  buildings and turn of the century Prairie Style buildings. By 2012 nearly the entire site had been cleared, save for the 72,800-square-foot Singer Pavilion, which will be included in the RFP for redevelopment. The demolition of the hospital was not without complication, though. Due to a radium separation company that was once on the site, the land includes three acres of contaminated radioactive land. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that any development will have to remediate the site before construction can begin. The city has noted that money from a Tax Increment Financing District in Bronzeville may be made available to help with to cost of site improvements. According to a September 30th press release from the city, the RFP will require developers to “connect the site with the city’s street grid, generate jobs, and create people-oriented amenities for the entire neighborhood.” That same press release also stated that the projects may involve recreational, residential, institutional, or commercial uses. As with many of the superblock projects in the city, it is expected that the final project will be mixed-use. Developers will also have access to air rights over the 28-acre site directly east of the Reese land, which is owned by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), owners of Navy Pier and the McCormick Center. “The Michael Reese site has been vacant for nearly ten years. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform a part of the south side and generate economic opportunities that will reach throughout Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in the city’s press release announcing the RFP. “With projects like this we are investing in the economic growth of our neighborhoods, in this case Bronzeville, building a brighter future block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood.” The RFP will be available Wednesday, October 12th, online and at DPD offices at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. #1000, Chicago, IL.
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Kirkland Urban development outside Seattle breaks ground

Construction has started on the Kirkland Urban, an 11.5-acre mixed-use development designed and master planned by Seattle-based architects CollinsWoerman for the Seattle-adjacent city of Kirkland, Washington. The complex, a redevelopment of an existing shopping mall, is being redesigned around the notion of an “18-hour city,” a designation typically reserved for the mid-sized metropolitan centers that offer the density of amenities, jobs, and housing present in larger cities but do not necessarily run around-the-clock. The model relies on the mixed-use configurations to maintain a more balanced streetlife than prototypical purpose-built business districts, which typically shut down after business hours. In a press release for the first phase of the project, partners PGIM Real Estate, Talon Private Capital, and Ryan Companies, US detail their plans for the first phase of Kirkland Urban: 390,000-square feet of Class-A office space, 140,000-square feet of retail, 185 apartments, and 1,700 parking spaces. The office spaces will take the form of a pair of six-story towers resting atop a multi-tiered retail podium. The developers are in the process of filling the towers with tech workers—tech companies Wave and Tableau have already signed on as anchor tenants—and plans also include a 50,000 grocery store to be operated by Kroger. The complex aims to include public art-lined “multi-family open spaces” and will feature a series of plazas oriented toward an adjacent recreational park, Peter Kirk Park. The residential component of the project, housed in a brick-and-balcony-clad apartment block, will be designed by Seattle-based Weber Thompson and feature a roof deck, club room and fitness center. Seattle-based firm Hewitt will provide landscape design services for the project. The developers and architects are aiming for LEED Gold certification for the project. The second phase of the Kirkland Urban has not yet been announced, but phase one is scheduled for completion in 2018.
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Johnson Fain and SWA Group break ground on 355-unit mixed-income complex in L.A.’s historic center

Architects Johnson Fain, landscape architects SWA Group, developers High Street Residential, Principal Real Estate Investors, Benchmark Contractors, and the non-profit Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) have broken ground on a $140-million mixed-use, mixed-income development in Los Angeles’s historic center. The long-in-the-making multifamily complex, “La Plaza de Cultura,” will bring 355 units to an area that is currently made up of a patchy network of parking lots, freeway off-ramps, and homeless encampments, and surrounds the more pedestrian-friendly areas directly adjacent to Union Station and Olvera Street. The project aims to feed into the tourist zone by stitching together several major streets with a large, stepped paseo filled with 46,000 square feet of retail space overlooked by housing. Johnson Fain’s proposed 717,000-square-foot complex will include 71 affordable units set aside for residents making up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income. The complex is designed as a terraced structure spanning between Hill, Broadway, and Spring Streets, encompassing a grade change of roughly 40 feet between Hill Street and Broadway alone. Renderings for the development depict a structure that gradually steps up to Hill Street, with the stepped paseo connecting the two thoroughfares. The various volumes of the complex—apartment blocks, terraces, and balconies—are clad in a range of materials and feature punched openings. SWA’s landscape design calls for a network of generous public open spaces connecting the paseo to the circular, historic plaza at Olvera Street. By designing these interstitial open spaces as landscaped walkways punctuated with wayfinding and informational signage, an attempt is being made to guide pedestrians from Union Station, the central node in L.A.’s mass transit system, with Olvera Street and the new complex itself. In doing so, the complex will begin to bridge the urban gaps between Union Station and the adjacent Chinatown neighborhood, an active commercial, arts, and entertainment district nearby. The project is being co-developed by CCF, a Latino-focused nonprofit that provides affordable housing services to area residents. Under a special development deal, the organization will lease the site from the City of Los Angeles for one dollar per year while subletting the property to the developers for $250,000 per year during construction and for almost twice that after the development is completed. The arrangement will provide operational funding for the nonprofit while also housing the group’s headquarters. Aside from providing a $30,000 contribution to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the project also features a favorable deal for local labor, requiring 30 percent of the workers to be hired from the area, with ten percent of those workers taken from so-called “disadvantaged groups.” La Plaza de Cultura is anticipated to finish construction in mid-2018.
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Development along L.A.’s “linear downtown” heats up in wake of subway construction

With the planned closure of various segments of Wilshire Boulevard over the next 22 weeks, construction is heating up this summer on Los Angeles’s long-stunted Purple Line, the city’s fabled “subway to the sea” extension connecting Downtown Los Angeles with the Pacific Ocean. As the prospect of a new high-capacity transit line becomes more of a reality, developers are taking note and a new crop of proposed mixed-use housing towers are popping up along the Wilshire Boulevard corridor. Latest among those projects is a 15-story residential luxury tower designed by Steinberg Architects called NMS La Jolla. The Type-I residential tower will contain 90-luxury units, 5,100 square feet of retail space, and four levels of above-grade parking. The project is notable for its convex, jagged facade, which staggers back and forth across both major exposures. This provides shade-giving overhangs along its southern face while creating nooks for projecting and recessed balconies along the mountain-facing, northern facade. The project’s facade was instrumental in winning over judges at this year’s PCBC builders’ conference, who bestowed the project with the PCBC Grand Award for Best On-the-Boards Mixed-Use Project. When awarding the project, PCBC judges issued the following statement: “With the number of mixed-use multifamily buildings going up in Los Angeles, it can be hard to stand out, but clever use of irregular, angular balconies and projecting windows set this mixed-use building on Wilshire Boulevard apart. The designers deployed these strategies across curved facades to ensure a unique experience in each of the 90 residential units, and to add visual interest to the streetscape, which is also enlivened by retail at the base. It will be an exciting project to see realized.” The project is being developed by NMS Properties and is expected to be completed in 2017. Completion of the first phase of the Purple Line extension is due to be completed in 2023.
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Tighe Architects brings 47-unit mixed use apartment to Temple Street in L.A.

A new 47-unit apartment complex is coming to L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown at 2510 Temple Street. Designed by Los Angeles-based Tighe Architecture, the project consists of a four-story mixed-use structure housing 2,000 square feet of ground-level restaurant and retail space. The project is being developed by 4Site Real Estate and is clad in alternating bands of standing seam metal panels and cementitious boards with vertically-proportion. Apartments are organized in a U-shape around a central courtyard that contains swimming pool, spa, and gym facilities for residents. Temple Street itself is a quickly-gentrifying east-west axis that runs through many of L.A.’s historic, Downtown-adjacent neighborhoods. 2510 Temple Street complex will also feature a faceted two-story lobby containing ground-level retail and second floor amenities. Construction timeline for the for the project is currently unavailable, but the structure is deep into construction. Among other projects, Tighe Architecture is known for their 32-unit La Brea Affordable Housing project for formerly homeless LGBT youth and for the upcoming North Beach Playground.
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Ironstate president David Barry talks placemaking, retail, and developing Staten Island

David Barry has made a name for himself developing mixed-use projects in retail and hospitality, including The Standard, East Village and the W Hoboken. His new residential project, Urby Staten Island, is on the market on the borough’s North Shore, with 900 units and a mix of retail, including a coffee shop, a bodega, and a communal kitchen—all supplied by an on-site farm.

AN’s senior editor Matt Shaw sat down with Barry to discuss his experience in developing hospitality and retail, and how that is informing his approach to Urby and the neighborhoods around it.

The Architect’s Newspaper: At Urby, you focus on public space. Is this something you have been thinking about throughout your hospitality work, or is it new to this project?

David Barry: It’s been a little bit of an evolution that we’ve crystalized in this project. I’ve done a lot of apartments over the years in these outer-borough locations. More recently, I have been doing hotels—what is called, roughly, “lifestyle” hotels or what used to be called “boutique” hotels. There has been an evolution in real estate as people move to urban areas but are on the move and cyber-connected all the time. I think this has given rise to a desire for urban residents to connect more to their spaces, to connect to each other more, and to move in the direction of a community.

When you’re programming those spaces, the end goal is really just to create a product that people connect with better and to provide a better experience.

We can put in a screening room and just let it exist, but in my experience, I’ve learned that there was an opportunity to take another step further and get people to connect to your product in a way that creates an emotional connection in a way that the big brands weren’t doing until recently. That’s what we’re striving to do with Urby.

Does this connection come through the retail and the shared spaces in Urby?

Yeah, I think the retail is really more about place-making and that has been around for a while: I look at Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk at Seaside, Florida, or any of that kind of stuff. We need to get life on the streets; we need to get retail mixed in and incorporate mixed-use development.

What’s a little more unique about Urby is that we are not just leasing curated retail out to third parties and creating a place, but we are taking those public spaces and being more thoughtful about how to make them an everyday piece of people’s lives. So instead of having amenities that you might use once in a blue moon, we tried to be really, really thoughtful about what is going to enhance somebody’s experience on a daily basis. We want to ensure that our commitment to programming is going a little bit beyond with things like the urban garden or the communal kitchen or the coffee shop that is embedded into the lobby. It is about connecting people around food and wellness in a sense.

I think that because Staten Island is a little bit more of a green, spacious borough, and we had a pretty substantial roof area, we thought that a roof garden could engage residents. We have a farmer-in-residence who helps residents participate—the fruits of that labor are eaten by anybody in the cafe or in the kitchen. 

How are you thinking about retail at Urby?

In this instance, we’re spending a lot of time being very particular and choosy about who we want to go into that space. Because the retail is about place-making, there’s an equation where you can’t necessarily squeeze every single dollar of rent out of it if you want this place to be made in a unique and a different way. That’s what we’re striving for—to create a place that’s authentic and that hosts regional retailers and restaurateurs, whether they’re from Staten Island, Brooklyn, New York, or New Jersey. It’s not a mall concept where we’re preleasing to national credit. We’ve learned to recognize that upfront and to pay a lot of attention to how you choose the retailers and how you support them.

The architecture of the buildings and the pedestrian experience are very important. There are thousands of decisions and some of them have bearing on the neighborhood in general, while others just have bearing on residents or particular constituencies within the building. We tried to pay attention to the architecture and how the building fits into the community, particularly with respect to pedestrians. I think we’ve been really thoughtful about both of those considerations in this project: How pedestrians experience the building and the development in terms of the sidewalks and the landscaping and the street width, etc.

What role does design play in all of this?

Design has played a huge role in this project. We specifically went to Europe to find a non-American architect for this property. Not because I discriminate against Americans, but because we’re trying to think about using space differently and have a different viewpoint on creating smaller urban social spaces and public spaces. The way the Europeans think about space with their city centers that have been so tight and so constrained with a lot of people next to each other for so long, you know. I think it was really interesting to bring in creative firm Concrete from Amsterdam. It feels very different than anything else you’ve experienced, at least in the residential sphere, and a big part of that is the European sensibility and this European eye and creating spaces that encourage people to mingle or connect.

It’s interesting to bring that into the New York area because it is becoming a world city. We’re all more cosmopolitan, we travel a lot, and it’s neat to take things from different societies. I think one thing Europe has that’s great is the piazza, right? That whole street culture and plaza culture is some of the best in the world, you know, in terms of how Europeans use their indoor-outdoor space and connect with each other. It’s been really interesting to work with Concrete and bring that over here to experiment with it.

How do you think this retail environment and improvements will radiate out from Urby?

Where we’re located in Stapleton is really the historic part of Staten Island, and so it got disinvestment and kind of went off people’s radar. I hear a lot of stories from people saying things like, “Oh my God! Bay Street! When I was a kid, we used to go there, and my father used to take me to a restaurant and we would go out after.” That is what I think Urby is. I think it’s like a reason to check out the North Shore of Staten Island.

It’s going to have a really great impact on Bay Street. I think there are some really neat things about the scale and the architecture of that street and the little park there, Tappen Park. I think what it really needs is some attention and some notoriety, and I think that once people have a reason to come to that neighborhood, it will get some. Typically,it’s done often with artists who go to places like Williamsburg and Bushwick and then, before you know it, they’re having some little pop-up things or some art shows or their friends are opening a cafe or whatever it is, and that is getting people talking about it. Staten Island had been a story of kind of suburbanization. Why? Because the Verrazano Bridge opened in ’62 and, boom, the floodgates turned on in Staten Island, and that was a period of time when the world was kind of deurbanizing. So it developed in a bit of a peculiar way, because the people that inhabited the South Shore and those new developments on the mid-island and South Shore had kind of written Bay Street off.

Why did you feel this site was appropriate for this kind of strategy?

Well, part of the strategy with this is that it’s just getting so prohibitively expensive to live in Manhattan or in the well-trafficked Class A locations. Part of the attraction of this location was that it’s formerly industrial and the neighborhood needs some revitalization. It has great mass-transit links, particularly for Staten Island, in that it’s got a subway stop that goes directly to the ferry and it’s on the waterfront.

It connects into Bay Street, which is historically a street with a lot of retail, a lot of restaurants. During most of my career, a lot of the story for the outer boroughs has been the redevelopment of these formerly industrial places in Williamsburg, Bushwick, Long Island City, Staten Island, South Bronx, Jersey City, right?

So I really saw this North Shore waterfront as a continuation of that movement of expansion to the outer boroughs where housing is more reasonably priced. This was a great opportunity to start with mass transportation and riverfront access in a borough that has not had a lot of creative investment or development in the last 20 or 30 years. The elected officials, the community leaders, and the regular old residents seem to be very excited. The EDC [Economic Development Corporation] just opened the park that’s in front of Urby, and the city is really working hard through various departments like EDC to also attract attention to this neighborhood, and I think it’s one that needs investment and has a lot of potential, and the same thing with the elected officials in terms of, you know, of Staten Island because I think that most people recognize that for a society, for a city, for a community to thrive and to move into the future, there needs to be investment of some sort into that community. They’re incentivized and they’re excited and they’re being helpful about getting more private investment attracted to that area.

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Two planned Scottsdale, AZ developments could add 1,000 residences

The city of Scottsdale, Arizona (about 12 miles northeast of Phoenix) is known for its majestic sunsets, almost perpetual sun, a deluge of spas, and of course Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, may soon be getting two new mixed-use developments, including 1,000 residences. One plan by Dallas-based developers JLB Partners is called "Scottsdale Marketplace" and the second is "District at the Quarter" by Kaplan Management Co, based in Houston. JLB paid a record price in Scottsdale ($1.5 million) for land at the southeast corner of Chauncey Lane and Scottsdale Road. “When JLB bought 10 undeveloped acres at Scottsdale Road and Chauncey Lane from the Arizona State Land Department in May 2015, the $1.5 million-per-acre price tag was the most anyone had ever paid at a state land auction,” wrote the Arizona Republic. Scottsdale Marketplace is expected to include mixed-use amenities: dining, retail, and 5 stories of 301 residences. The project could also include a coffee shop, fitness space, rooftop pool, and from renderings, what looks like lots of palm trees for the commercial portion in the otherwise arid climate of Scottsdale (though some say palm trees are water-intensive and provide little shade). If the project gets the zoning green light from the Scottsdale City Council, the project could break ground spring 2017 and cost $80 million. The second Scottsdale project, by developer Kaplan, is called District at the Quarter. It is slated for nine acres at the northeast corner of 73rd Street and Greenway-Hayden Loop and will feature mainly residences, with some retail. (The site currently holds an office building and is zoned for industrial use.) The developers' plan include four stories of 644 residences (these could be condos or apartments), courtyards with fountains, two pools, and other outdoor hangout spaces for barbecues, fire pits, and more. If Scottsdale City Council passes the two plans (though this could be at least a few months for zoning change approvals), the projects could open by 2018 at the earliest.
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“A Bit of the Upper West Side in the Valley”

  Roger Ferris + Partners's Screenland Lofts signal high-rise living over the hills of Los Angeles. For those who know Burbank, it's a city synonymous with film and television industries, namely NBC, Disney, Warner Brothers, and Nichelodeon. Well, movie studios and soon the country’s largest IKEA store. One thing Burbank is not known for, at least not yet, is high-density urban housing. That could change when Westport, Connecticut-based Roger Ferris + Partners’s proposed 14 story Screenland Lofts break ground later this year. Currently in the permitting stages of development, the 170 foot high articulated monolith will feature ground floor retail topped by a shared terrace, 40 new two-bedroom apartment units, with a rooftop pool at the highest level. These market rate units will vary between 1,262 and 1,430 square feet in size. The building’s articulated facades frame large loggias that connect to interior spaces (either the living room or bedrooms, depending on unit type) and frame views of the nearby Hollywood Hills and Verdugo Mountains. A thick, Schindlerian band of write stucco zig-zags across the North facades. Floor-to-ceiling efficiency glazing wraps around the East and West exposures. Located in the commercially-zoned Burbank Media District, Screenland Lofts is atypical of apartment projects going up in LA area: it's organized as a singular volume. “We wanted to relocate and redefine high-rise housing for L.A.,” firm founder Roger Ferris told AN recently over telephone. He cited the “urbanesque” nature of a tower design as one of the selling points of the scheme. Ferris remarked further that the development would be the only one of its kind an area defined mostly by mid-rise office towers. And indeed, with gentrification making its way from the northernmost reaches of Downtown LA across nearby Highland Park, Atwater Village, and Glendale, Burbank officials are smart to begin densifying their city’s housing stock now.
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Copper Mesh Facade signals renewal in historic town center

"The copper woven mesh opens like a curtain over the city. It unfolds like a filter in front of a fully glazed facade. It shows off the facility while protecting it."

ARC.AME Urban Architects have designed a new School of Art in the center of Calais, a northern port city in France. Recently the town has been notable for a growing refugee population which has attempted to migrate to England by means of the Eurotunnel transit tunnel beneath the English Channel and ferries. The architects say this project exists as a symbol of the revival of the city center: “the powerful and original architecture of the project had to respect the balance and the scales of the context into which it was embedded.” The school program was designed to be fully public, allowing for freely accessible galleries. A secondary residential program provides 25 apartments, placed like houses on the rooftop.  The units are designed as duplexes, each with a south facing terrace. A central courtyard links these residences with the university program. The architects say one of the major challenges at stake in the revitalization of historic city centers, which have been abandoned for the suburbs, is the new lifestyle that a dense mixed-use environment creates.
  • Facade Manufacturer GKD France
  • Architects ARC.AME Urban Architects, DPLG and associate
  • Facade Installer Rabot Dutilleul Construction (General Enterprise)
  • Facade Consultants INGEROP Engineers, Babylone (Landscaper)
  • Location Calais, France
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System reinforced concrete frame with copper gold varnished mesh screen and extensive vegetated roof gardens
  • Products GKD/Spirale Escale (mesh facade); KME/Tecu Gold (copper roof)
With adjacent buildings literally tied into an existing commercial mall building on the site, demolition was a challenging aspect to the project. The new structure is coordinated to the massing heights of the contextual buildings, however it strongly varies in materiality.  A woven copper mesh product from GKD France screens a facade composed primarily of glazing, and formally opens up onto the city as a curtain. The mesh filters daylight, protecting art galleries and equipment from direct exposure. The coloration of the mesh incorporates a high gloss paint to protect the material from its coastal environment. The roof is detailed in a lacquered copper, subtly – nearly invisibly – transitioning to the metal mesh product which rolls over the facade walls. Several mesh configurations were tested to achieve desired lighting results for classroom and studio spaces. The radial section profile allows the product to be incorporated onto the facade as a single piece, without any splicing required. The architects say one of the greatest successes of the project is the qualities this solar shade provides: “We love many aspects of this project; the mesh, the concrete matrix, the central garden, the exhibition hall…but the thing that lived up most to our expectations is the quality of the light which diffuses all across the building and the visual transparencies between the several indoor spaces.”
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New renderings revealed for Kava Massih Architects’ 472 unit, mixed-use development in L.A.’s new Arts District

There’s a fresh set of renderings for an under-construction, mixed-use development in the new and upcoming Arts District (AD) in downtown Los Angeles (or DTLA). L.A., like other west coast cities such as Portland, Oregon's Pearl District or Seattle's Georgetown is now converting defunct warehouses into galleries, exhibition areas, restaurants, and living spaces. In L.A., the 400,000-square-foot housing and retail development is set to include 472 units—studio, one, and two-bedroom loft and flat style apartments. "[T]he development has been in the works for a few years, but recent designs for the project drew criticism from locals, who deemed it monolithic and worried about its car-focused layout," reported Curbed Los Angeles. "In response, parking was reduced from 922 spots down to 744 and a public walking path (which appears to be featured in the renderings) was inserted to connect Third Street to Traction Avenue." There are seven apartment buildings, some five stories high, and others six stories, oriented around a courtyard featuring a dog park and swimming pool, among other amenities. A "social club" features a library, lounge, and stalactite chandelier to illuminate the double-height space. Upper story walkways will connect the buildings together. Of the 400,000 square feet, 22,000 square feet will become retail planned at ground level. Berkeley, C.A.–based Kava Massih Architects is designing the project with local L.A. interior design firm House of Honey. The project reportedly costs $215 million. Phase one completion (a little over half of the units) is slated for December 2017.
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Stealthy Parisian development blends city life with garden courtyards

VIB Architecture has constructed a mixed-use program of student housing and a nursery along a narrow site in a busy neighborhood in Paris.

In a Parisian neighborhood known for its pedestrian-scale passages and small alleys, VIB Architecture has constructed a mixed-use project skillfully incorporating student housing and a nursery program into a complex of several new construction and renovated properties. The project is located in Belleville, a historically working class neighborhood with strong arts community and a heterogeneous mix of architectural scales arranged along a hilly topography. This latest addition to the neighborhood adds to the mix by combining contextual strategies with a bold contemporary material palette and massing scheme. The project is generally organized around two 8-story buildings that are bisected by an exterior passageway that leads to a courtyard space. Apartments are located along the active street front, protecting a rear sunny courtyard, lined with smaller scale buildings, for use by the nursery. An existing building links the two programs.
  • Facade Manufacturer Tolartois (panel fabrication); Francano (anodized finish)
  • Architects VIB Architecture (Franck Vialet and Bettina Ballus)
  • Facade Installer BECS (engineering consultants) / Lainé Delau (facade installation)
  • Facade Consultants Igrec Ingénierie (engineering)
  • Location Paris 20e
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System rainscreen (perforated, stamped, arched, boards over a galvanized steel framing)
  • Products 2mm aluminum panels (Tolartois); bronze anodizing (Francano); marble granulate coated facades (Zolgranit); Lacquered aluminum frames with integrated acoustic ventilation slits (Kawneer), Laminated and coated flat glass & metal mesh (Jakob)
The most recognizable building is wrapped in a custom-designed perforated aluminum skin, with a massing composed of slightly staggered floor plates with rounded corners. The skin of the building becomes panelized into operable shutters at window locations, allowing for users to control desired levels of shading, privacy and ventilation. The horizontal patterning of the perforations tracks downward into the courtyard, aesthetically integrating the housing and nursery programs, says Franck Vialet, Partner of VIB Architecture. “The perforations give depth and the horizontal stripes vibrate and link the street to the inner gardens.” The building interestingly was originally designed with a wooden rainscreen system, but was dropped early in the design process due to strict fire regulations. Vialet says the resulting aluminum facade became a natural choice due to its material qualities and design flexibility with fabrication processes. “We looked for a skin that could be unique and could be textured or machined into both large scale and smaller pieces. Anodized aluminum was the ideal solution because of its great ability to reflect light and to be perforated easily.” Positioned next to an historic garden, the bronze anodized building acts as a landmark, providing a sense of depth to the urban fabric of Belleville. Immediately adjacent to this building sits a second which is designed to be compatible with existing context, clad in a white plastic coating, the massing of the building is more ubiquitous than the first, while strategically stepping down at the rear facade to gently meet the courtyard. By altering the tectonics of the two buildings, the overall impact of the scale of the project is reduced while reinforcing a central circulation “spine” through the length of the plot, linking two successive courtyards. Vialet says the most successful part of the project is the urbanism it fosters: “its ability to naturally blend into the city and to bring together people from the street, the park, and the courtyards.”