Nominated by: KTGY
Location: Pasadena, CA
Developer: SummerHill Apartment Communities
General Contractor: Crane Development
Interior Designer: Ryan Young Interiors
Project Website: www.livetheo.com
This community delivers a modernist experience rooted in historic surroundings and results from an intense collaboration between the architect, developer, city planning department and Pasadena Heritage. The designers chose a mid-20th century aesthetic for the new structure to respect the strong, iconic nature of the existing neighborhood while becoming a neutral backdrop against which history could be read. The style components comprise large flat monochromatic wall planes, floating horizontal floor slabs, and floor-to-ceiling windows to provide minimal ornamentation and direct connection with the outdoors.
The building’s design pulls influences from the adjacent Theodore Parker Lukens House, one of the oldest standing examples of Victorian architecture within the city. Rather than compete with the ornate features of this historic residence, this community offers a simple, modernist take on the classic architecture with outdoor spaces that overlook and embrace the Lukens House. To save and honor an iconic 75-foot Deodar Cedar tree that anchors the northeast corner of the site, the massing pulls away from the southeast corner and creates a 30-foot-wide publicly accessible pocket park where residents and locals alike can sit and enjoy the contemplative gardens. All the other building areas expand out, slowly terracing up and away from the historic home.
While the architectural stepping creates relief and space for observers to appreciate the Victorian structure, it also doubles as a tool for the creation of new opportunities to engage the outdoor realm. Each of these step-backs creates individual roof terraces that offer unique outdoor experiences at every level, including observation decks, sun lounges, a pool deck, outdoor dining and pet areas. Each of these carefully curated areas responds to the various ways we connect with nature and the landscapes around us, providing countless opportunities for capturing stunning mountain vistas, social for engagement, exercise, and quiet contemplation promoting wellness.