Best of Year: Apartment Building
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 12/1/2010 4:52:00 PM
Project: Sierra Bonita Apartments
Firm: Tighe Architecture
Location: Los Angeles
Patrick Tighe made certain that this five-story, 50,000-square-foot building looked nothing like an affordable-housing project. He established a lively exterior rhythm by having some units protrude as others recede, and glass this expansive is furthermore rare in affordable housing. Since the street out front is high-traffic Santa Monica Boulevard, the glass needed a scrim of sorts. He responded with laser-cut aluminum abstractions that are mostly metal up to the 3-foot mark and mostly open above, allowing them to double as balustrades. Contrasting with the bold front and rear facades, the central courtyard is a secret garden lush with low-maintenance grasses. The courtyard is surrounded on three sides by the balcony corridors that connect the 42 one-bedroom units, which all manage to squeeze the essentials, plus a walk-in closet, into 620 square feet. On the roof, photovoltaic panels provide enough electricity to power light fixtures in public spaces downstairs. Other solar panels combine with PVC pipe to heat the building’s water.
Project: 930 Poydras
Firm: Eskew + Dumez + Ripple
Location: New Orleans
Standout: The French Quarter’s sociable courtyards inspired the idea of grouping all tenant amenities, such as the sky lobby and pool deck, on the same floor of this tower.
Project: William Beaver House
Firm: Tsao & McKown Architects
Location: New York
Standout: Glazed yellow bricks punctuate the upper facade, culminating at a penthouse lounge conceived with hotelier André Balazs, one of the developers.
Firm: S. Russell Groves
Location: New York
Standout: Aiming to introduce LEED Silver–certified luxury to a scruffy corner, the lobby features upholstered seating beneath a polished-nickel chandelier, while the fifth floor offers a game room and a cedar-lined sauna.