The project site, in Carson, California, is a narrow through lot between single-family residential and a commercial business park. Design challenges came from the long, narrow site and limited amount of usable area due to fire department and parking requirements. To avoid perceptions of length, repetition, and a long façade, the solution was to standardize the units for efficiency, but configure them into different shaped buildings and orient them across the site – creating a cohesive project tied together with similar materials, but unique in how the buildings and spaces feel as one progresses through the site.
Each of the courtyards break up the massing and create different spaces for the residents, including a sculpture garden, outdoor work areas, and smaller gathering/sitting areas. Neighbors’ concerns about privacy with having a multistory residential building in their backyard were addressed by strategically designing the buildings away from the houses and minimizing the line of sight by orienting most units away from the homes. Trees were planted along the property line to screen views. The amenities have an emphasis on the arts and include music rooms, workshops, a pottery space, a gallery, a digital media lab, a community room, mural walls, a children’s play area, and a community garden.
It’s NAHB award season! Carson Arts Colony took home two awards last season: BALA, the residential building industry’s premier design awards program; and Pillars, NAHB’s multifamily awards program celebrating excellence in development concepts, financing, and management. Why not enter both?