About this time every year, we here at Studio E Architects take a day for an office retreat – to memorialize the previous year, and to take a look at what’s on the menu for the year ahead. As we noted a few weeks back, with several new faces in the office and new projects on-the-boards or in construction, the prospects for 2013 have us absolutely salivating! With that in mind, consider this post a sort of “architectural amuse-bouche” – in the world of haute cuisine, a single-bite appetizer intended to amuse the mouth and invigorate the palate. So – without further ado – we’d like to present you with the first course of “What’s Cookin’” at Studio E in 2013!
Saxon Suites: Los Angeles, California
240 beds of thirty-year old student housing will be completely renovated and 498 new beds will be added in the form of two seven-story concrete towers to form a rethought, more cohesive, and altogether new residential community at Saxon Suites at the University of California, Los Angeles. The existing three-story buildings will receive a complete makeover- with all new finishes, windows & sun-shading devices and building-system upgrades. The new site plan emphasizes community through patios, gathering spaces designed and located to encourage resident interaction. The project, designed to achieve LEED Gold and scheduled to be completed in late-2016, offers residents a bounty of interior and exterior common spaces, including a communal kitchen and dining, offices, study and meeting spaces, lounges, an exterior story-telling gathering space, and a boulevard that connects the interior spaces to the active pedestrian route to main campus.
Boulevard Units: Davis, California
The second phase of the newly-developed West Village on the UC Davis campus, the Boulevard Units consist of three-story walk-ups of two-, three- and four-bedroom conﬁgurations. The buildings are grouped around courtyards and park spaces and align to form an active urban street edge. The buildings follow the environment-first ethos of the initial phase of West Village—they will be net-zero energy users and will achieve the highest levels of sustainability possible. The Boulevard Units comprise 504 beds of student rental housing with community recreation areas and a pool, and is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
Washington Street Apartments: La Quinta, California
Washington Street Apartments, an existing very low-income senior housing community in La Quinta, will be rescued and renewed into a sustainable desert sanctuary. The project consists of 72 completely remodeled units, 26 new units, a community building with pool, and outdoor gathering areas. The existing buildings’ modest, mid-century style will be preserved and enhanced with the addition of a program of sustainable measures that include: natural cross-ventilation and day lighting through a system of thermal chimneys and strategically-placed window openings; photovoltaic systems; and a variety of simple shade-creating devices to provide shelter from the desert sun. The site has been reimagined to reinforce social connections and chance meetings which are essential to healthy senior life.
Mesa Commons: San Diego, California
Featuring a mix of two- and three-story buildings on El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State University, Mesa Commons will add 78-units of affordable family housing to the College Area community. The project enlivens the Boulevard edge with varied horizontal and vertical masses, and utilizes low-sloping roofs behind parapets to allow for the use of cool roof technology while adding a contemporary urban feel. Within the site boundaries, the development’s thirteen residential buildings are arranged to create a system of connected open spaces that encourage resident circulation and invite use of the project’s common areas and amenities. Construction is scheduled to begin early this year and be completed in mid-2014.
Bikeway Village: Imperial Beach, California
Bikeway Village repurposes two nondescript concrete masonry warehouses— totaling almost 30,000 SF adjacent to the San Diego Bay and the Bayshore Bikeway — as an alternative retail center focused on fitness and outdoor activities. Studio E’s design intentions include: bringing the Bay to the city through material selection, detailing and landscape design, capturing views, and improving public access; creating a shared amenity that benefits bicyclists, strollers, birdwatchers, and retail patrons; and creating a model of sustainable redevelopment. Uses may ultimately include bicycle sales and service, indoor and outdoor dining, a fitness studio, and a bicycling-oriented hostel.
Stay tuned to this space for the second course… coming soon!