Form-based code guidelines provided the 224,370-square-foot building with its basic outlines, but the design details employed on the project give it a distinct presence. “Make big moves,” says principal David Baker, FAIA, of his firm’s strategy. Marking the southern edge of a residential stretch north of the park, the five-story-tall volume clad in Cor-Ten steel sits above glazed ground-level retail spaces and playfully detailed concrete columns. These “dancing columns,” as the architects call them, have become popular on Instagram: “People love textured concrete,” Baker says.
Standard storefront doors lead to dual lobbies (one at the north end of the building and one at the south), which are open to the elements as covered portions of an internal courtyard. The building’s 200 apartments feature three residential unit types: one one-bedroom and two two-bedroom layouts. The architects varied the double-loaded interior corridors, but intentionally end most of them with a window. “You can see light down the hall,” Baker says. “It makes a difference in livability.”
Building amenities—including a gym, common room, lounge, and laundry room—are located in a two-story pavilion that sits in the semi-private central courtyard. “It becomes a parterre garden,” Baker says. A children’s play area on the second floor eschews playground equipment, opting instead for a blue artificial turf from Fieldturf.
Keeping the building height below 65 feet allowed the architects to utilize Type V construction, which provided economies not available with Type I or III, which are more typical for a building of this size and use. The western half of the building is wood frame atop a concrete garage podium, while the eastern half is solely conventional wood framing.