Located in Old Pasadena, a registered historic district, 130-140 is a five-story, mixed-use, urban infill building containing thirty-eight residential dwellings, two ground floor commercial spaces and one story of subterranean parking, built over and around an existing one-story, historic, retail building façade.
Old Pasadena is heralded as a model of a historic district’s revitalization, transforming into an economically thriving (primarily) retail, restaurant and commercial office destination. Most of the early projects completed were adaptive reuse of either certified historic buildings or contributing structures. Given the district, these projects where required to meet the design criteria set forth by The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the treatment of historic properties. As the district developed and began to build new buildings with many incorporating housing above retail to meet the goals of Pasadena’s planning initiatives, questions have arose as to what is an appropriate design approach for new projects. Although the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards are quite clear that new construction should differentiate itself from certified historic fabric, the majority of these projects have tried, with the strong support of local preservation groups, to capitalize on the historic values associated with the district by directly mimicking the architectural styles of previous generations. In our view, this approach often dilutes the historic fabric through simulating the historic.
130-140 project addresses these contextual (and often contentious) issues by providing representational relief between the new building, the existing building on-site, and its adjacent historical context. The approach is to respect the historic fabric and not to simulate it. To restore the existing one story historic façade while simultaneously developing a contemporary representation for the new portions of the building that wraps above and around the existing retail building and its historic façade.
As urban infill, the project is both a response to the changing urban conditions that define the region’s movement towards increased density and a projection of the potentiality of new collectivities in co-habitation. The project responds to this movement and explores the social aspects of multifamily dwelling through addressing primary issues of identity, privacy and visibility. This is accomplished through the modulation of the units, circulation, and the design of its facades. The residential units are organized around two courtyards above the plinth level. This plinth or courtyard plane separates the project’s four levels of live-work spaces from the retail and parking below. Throughout the project, the exposed circulation staggers horizontally and vertically, traversing the shared court spaces and connecting the units. This exposed circulation is minimized due to the combination of one and two-story units. The shifting of the circulation and the modulation of the dwelling spaces, both in materiality and form, enables the occupant to find individuality within the whole.
20,000 SF site area
37,857 SF building area (5 stories)
CLIENT: Genrob, LLC
PROJECT TEAM: Peter Tolkin, Jeanette Fabry, Jeremy Schacht, Brian Proffitt
ENGINEERS: Charles Tan (Structural), Calcivic Engineering Group (Civil), G.A. Nicoll & Associates (Geotechnical), Innovative Engineering Group (Mechanical)
LANDSCAPE: Wade Graham Landscape Studio
CONSULTANTS: Kathy Lucoff Advisory Services (Public Art), Historic Resources Group (Historical), Schirmer Engineering Corporation (Code Consultant)