holly drive condo complex
modern multihousing - vacation style
design objective 1
The feel of a Mediterranean vacation village in a multifamily project on unusual terrain - all indigents of a perfect storm, actually working in harmony.

  • type7 unit townhouse complex in 3 buildings and underground garage
  • year | size2019 | 14,460 sf
  • locationGlendale, California
  • statusin plan check

project DRB statement
As every PAAstudio project, this again is an environmentally friendly one.

The irregular geometry of the parcel suggested an innovative approach, which scatters the dwelling units naturally over the terrain, minimizing retaining walls and excavation. The elegant composition reflects the character of the lot with minimal intrusion and preserves the original characteristics of its surface. The underground garage entry is with a shallow ramp at street level in the lower portion of the front of the lot. The pedestrian-friendly entrance to the right has no incline besides required drainage, which makes for a natural ADA approach without a lift or a ramp. The front building features four 2-story units. A separate accessible unit is at garage level behind and two more units are in a third building a level down. The front four townhomes have 2 and 3 bedrooms at entry level with an ample foyer and open stair to the living room level above, which showcases a two-level space with a mezzanine and a private rooftop terrace for each unit. The terraces open to the lovely views North and South. The AC’s and tankless water heaters of all units are completely hidden away from public view in well vented, walled crevices with open trellis roofs. The large living room windows are shielded with ample vertical privacy fins and horizontal shades to the south and all appropriate location throughout the complex. This combination of slim interconnected volumes and planes creates one of the signature visual features of the complex.


project drb statement (cont)

The separate ADA unit has two entries at both garage and upper deck levels, which goes well beyond standard accessibility requirements, as they are connected with the common two-stop elevator. The rear building 3, as another variation, has the main entries on its second level, with bedrooms below and mezzanine above and also features ample rooftop patios, facing North with a beautiful mountain view. The addition of operable skylights at the top of the stairwell of each unit is an important passive sustainable feature. It allows the hot air to escape, naturally drawn out at the highest controllable portion of the dwelling. Open riser configuration in the all flights of stairs ensures air flow to the skylight vents and promotes natural ventilation, thus lowering the energy balance of the building. Controlled cross ventilation in the living rooms adds to this effect as well. "Desert garden" aesthetics landscaping and built-in planters throughout offer a rich environment in the common areas. This layout creates also an ample dual interaction patio scheme, allowing occupants to freely choose habitable exterior portions of the surroundings. The public areas feature built-in benches and are naturally shaded by trellis extensions for the BBQ and lower common areas. The latter also features a children’s playground with built-in climbers and rockers. The elevator roof extends over the exterior stairway from garage to deck, providing a shielded pedestrian approach from the parking to the upper units. The street address is part of the front landscape design with easily readable 3D concrete cutout lettering and Naples yellow edge accents. The overall lighting of the complex is provided with discrete LED planter and landscape lights, which cut energy consumption and heat by 85%. Unit entries have an LED downlight and LED diffused strip lighting to building timer. The LED landscape and planter lights, along with the building address accent lights create an inviting atmosphere with no light overspill to neighboring properties. The material selection is within the natural and sustainable palette of PAAstudio - light, inviting colors of steel trowel smooth plaster, mahogany wood siding and metal standing seam roofing. The color scheme includes two colors of stucco - light and medium gray - in combination with the natural wood color of the entry siding accents, the off-gray polymer decking and sky-blue steel roofing, all of them with low heat absorption values. The color and material palette provides a lively, yet relaxed environment with the feel of a Greek island vacation village as a modern habitat.

design objective 2
Direct modeling over terrain specifics
The design and detailing are appropriate, as modified by conditions, to the site and its surroundings.
Glendale DRB approval letter