Little Italy, San Diego, California
Architect/Designer | AO Architects
Builder | Ledcor Group
Developer | HG Fenton
Photographer | Chet Frohlic
The seven-story, 97-unit mixed-use project resurrects an open, informal Old World charm for a new generation, with flowing relationships between indoor and outdoor spaces. Originally a public right-of-way, a new public piazza is defined, gathering residents and visitors to participate in community life. The lobby flows from an interior courtyard into the Piazza della Famiglia, celebrating the building’s landmark relationship to the neighborhood. The piazza is a connection point that allows pedestrians to safely traverse two busy streets and to access the public parking structure below the piazza.
As the pedestrian moves around the building, an inviting series of commercial spaces weave into the bustling street life. A historic façade has been restored, its transom windows uncovered to shed new light into a fresh genesis of retail concepts. Five stories of luxury residences extend the project’s themes, with large windows and livable balconies that connect the interior environment with street life. Top-floor lofts and an expansive skydeck provide open vistas and harbor views. A contextual planning approach, and a sensitive yet fearless architectural vocabulary, shape this project into the new cultural heart of Little Italy.