Thursday, September 29, 2011

Villa Cielo

This Island villa design is a tower surrounded by a wide wrap around covered terrace. The tower has basically one room or function per floor. This allows each room to have three view exposures and to facilitate natural flow through ventilation for cooling. Two separate out buildings flank either side; one a staff, laundry and storage building, another a guest suite with it's own entry so it can be used independently. The major living areas for this house are outside under cover. An indoor kitchen with dining area area is available for retreat during stormy weather, as is a library media room on the second floor that can also function as a guest bedroom.

While the building will be very formal and dramatic when approached on the entry side, once inside the spaces will be very relaxed and casual, gradually opening up to the sea and sky.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creating Neighborhood, Russellville Commons

©MCM Architects 2011 All Rights Reserved

Creating a neighborhood oriented around a linear series of park blocks was our design goal in for the Russellville Commons project in Portland, Oregon. The project has about 500 units on a 12 acre site. What is unique about this design is that rather than designing a typical apartment project surrounded by and accessed from a series of large parking lots, we actually introduced a public street grid, with on street parking, onto the super block site, organizing the streets around central park blocks. This not only connected the project with the surrounding neighborhood it provided organization and structure to an apartment project that had over 25 separate buildings. Parking lots were placed behind the buildings and connected by landscaped pedestrian walkways to the main park blocks and new streets. The building and unit entries orient to either the new streets or to the park blocks, which in turn connect to Portland's light rail system.

The public spaces and streets are shared by a diverse cross section of people because the project includes regular rental apartments, senior living apartments and assisted living units. So rather be isolated in buildings surrounded by parking lots, the residents of Russellville Commons, of all ages, participate in creating a true neighborhood.