Barrington Courtyard Residences
Location: Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize: 59,450 SF, 53 Residential UnitsStatus: Submitted EntitlementsProgram: Mixed-Use Retail and ResidentialClient: Markwood Enterprises
The Santa Monica Barrington is a 53-unit, mixed-use, multi-family development designed by R&A Architecture + Design in collaboration with development firm Markwood Enterprises as a demonstration of sustainable, high-density urban living respectful of its surroundings. The design includes six live/work townhomes, nine studio apartments, 26 one-bedroom units, six one-bedroom and den units, six two-bedroom units, a private residential amenity room, and 1,500-square-foot ground-level retail space. Throughout the design process, the architects and the developer embraced intensive research of zoning laws to articulate a development considerate of the West Los Angeles Sawtelle neighborhood, while remaining financially beneficial for the client. Planned on the bustling corner of West Santa Monica Boulevard and South Barrington Avenue, the project aims to benefit the community and its stakeholders by activating and engaging the streetscape. This is the first project to have a fully automated parking system approved by the West Los Angeles Sawtelle Neighborhood Council (Council District 11). Construction is targeted to begin in 2018.
Rather than apply a conventional box-themed, double-loaded corridor typology that would overwhelm its surroundings, the architects reduced the project’s mass by developing a thoughtful, yet practical, design. The height at the rear of the development, which faces existing residents along Ohio Avenue, was lowered as a respectful adjacency to neighbors. This reduction in height creates additional outdoor space in the form of a rooftop terrace. Three live/work townhomes facing the largely residential South Barrington Avenue serve as a transition from the retail component, creating a village community that coalesces the existing neighborhood feel with the new. The architect and developer team incorporated a deep sidewalk featuring a parkette along South Barrington that buffers traffic noise, reflects a pedestrian-oriented focus, and invites residents and visitors alike toward the space. In this way, the design accommodates a mixed-use retail and multi-family development, while enhancing pedestrian access and open public space.
Adjacent to the retail space and lobby on the ground floor lies a private residential amenity room which adds up to 1,000 additional square feet to the 320-square-foot lobby space through a series of sliding pocket doors. This design element adds to the appeal of high-density urban living by encouraging chance encounters among residents, and offering an area for tenants to host events and entertain guests.
Each unit is oriented to create added privacy and individuality, while maintaining an open connection to the streetscape and further increasing natural light. Despite its relatively small site, the project features abundant outdoor space. Exposed, outdoor walkways linking shared common areas to residences, along with the building’s interior courtyard, allow daylight and ventilation to enter from both sides of the unit. To create privacy for the units facing outdoor walkways, the architects and developer integrated a sustainable, low-maintenance living curtain of vines that hangs from the rooftop, shielding residents and adding depth to the space. A rooftop terrace provides wraparound views of the Los Angeles cityscape, while a lower courtyard-level terrace faces picturesque views of the Santa Monica Mountains.