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****   Merit Award   ****
Terrazas de Sol
(# 881)
Description Credits
Located on 4.34 acres in the City of Commerce, at the intersection of Eastern and Washington Boulevards the design of our proposal fundamentally lies in the prioritization of spaces for people. Providing green pedestrian connection between the adjacent residential communities, as well as the Civic Center, establishes the basis for the site organization. A 350-car parking is justified to the south along Washington Blvd and wrapped in a planted berm that enhances the pedestrian experience along Washington Blvd and camouflages the face of the garage.

The resulting 1-acre linear open space along Jillson Street houses building lobbies, community spaces, an accessible playground, pickleball courts, dog park, a small amphitheater gathering space, and other smaller places for people to gather, sit and rest. Additionally, the western end is anchored by a tree lined public plaza, which is fronted by the residential management offices, and visually connects across Eastern Avenue to another plaza at the 48-unit property across the street (which is also fronted by a lobby and community space). The programming along the entirety of the open space ensures constant activation and ‘eyes’ on it, assisting with security and safety for the building residents and the public at large.

Fronting the park, on the podium level, the massing of the 3-story residential buildings pull back and “open up” to create a series of semi-private landscaped terraces.  These terraces help to ‘step down’ the massing the building along Jillson, and bring activities, people, and vegetation to the edge, animating the park and providing for visual connections between the residents and the general public.  Additionally, residential units get views into these common open spaces and provide additional activation of the facades through operable windows and Juliette balconies.  These terraces continue across Eastern Avenue to the parcel to the west, activating the pedestrian experience along Jillson in a similar manner by bringing people, activities and landscape to the edge.
Further still into the residential complex are a series of private courtyards, each with their own distinguishing identity – from community vegetable plots, to play areas, passive gardens to meeting areas – the diversity of these landscape rooms provides a rich series of experiences for the residents.

The character of the buildings is varied, warm, and distinct. Its scale and character reflect the varied contexts between which it resides. Starting with the base program of 200 units to the east of Eastern Avenue, the 3-story residential program is conceptualized as an urban courtyard block. At once a singular building, the massing along Washington Blvd. is inflected to breakdown the scale of the building, open it up to the internal courtyards and create a series of terraces along the southern edge. These masses “float” above the parking below, lightening the perception of their mass and creating an animated pedestrian experience along Washington Blvd.

To the West, along Eastern Avenue, the façade of incorporates a large-scale collaborative art mural, which nods to the scale of the warehouses and factories in the area, and anchors the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Washington Blvd.


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