The Power of Naming — In Praise of (Cool) Residential Signage

I remember delivering newspapers as a kid growing up in Santa Monica to loads of apartment buildings with  exotic sounding names emblazoned across their street fronting facades – the Bel Air,  the Oxford Arms, Coco Palms, Villa Capri. These were generally pretty modest two-story stucco clad boxes with parking all across their 50 foot parcel width.

The street address writ large becomes super graphic artwork

The architectural literature has described these multi-family dwellings as “ruthlessly expedient, made out of the cheapest materials by the simplest construction methods, shoehorning the maximum number of units possible onto its lot”. They were all that – but they also had some pretty cool signage and occasionally a sunburst clock…

I don't think this ever worked...but the idea was interesting

…or a bas-relief sea creature or a crazy tile mosaic. And if you lived there – you pulled into a mythic “good life” as you eased your Ford Galaxy or Dodge Fury into the tuck-under parking.

Mai-Tai anyone..?

We love the idea of iconic signage on residential projects!

You've seen this San Diego landmark on your airport approach

Convincing our thriftiest clients of the “value of a good name” is often a challenge. We exploited the street address as a super scale object on our almost completed Archer Studios in San Jose, shown below.

These are three feet tall—and internally illuminated.

A few years ago we managed to create a pedestrian entry gate that featued the projects name in simple galvanized steel—at Lillian Place.

Suggested in honor of a prominant African American women who had historic ties to this San Diego neighborhood

What do you think of these? We would appreciate your comments and contributions to our growing library of images!

If you lived here - you'd be home now.

Do residents don a fez when they arrive home? Maybe...

This entry was posted in Architecture, Design and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Power of Naming — In Praise of (Cool) Residential Signage

  1. Pingback: “Small is Beautiful”: Archer Studios SRO Complete in San José | THRESHOLD

  2. Pingback: Big Thoughts on Small Spaces: Archer Studios on the Forefront of Micro-Unit Apartment Design | THRESHOLD

  3. Pingback: Archer Studios: Builder Magazine 2013 Grand Award Winner | THRESHOLD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *