601 Colorado Avenue

Michael W. Folonis Architects en tant que Architectes.

This 8-story mixed-use development sits on a 200-foot deep by 150-foot wide corner lot with spectacular ocean and mountain views. The project is one block from the Santa Monica Downtown EXPO Line station. Passive solar design strategies were incorporated in the design process, which ensure natural light and ventilation in the public courtyard spaces and flow-through ventilation in all 140 apartment units.

 Design Considerations:

- Transit Adjacent 

- Tower Massing Strategy Increases Porosity

- LEED Platinum Design

- Passive and Active Solar Design Strategies

Conventional approaches to a building on this type of lot would produce a stultifying double-loaded corridor donut building with step-backs to comply with the zoning code.

The unique massing strategy adopted here breaks with convention by dividing the building into four distinct towers of apartments with spacious openings between. This design move allows natural light and ventilation to reach deep into the building mass, enhancing the living environment, increasing porosity and diminishing the otherwise massive building at all three facades.

Collected around the vertical circulation for each tower, the apartments have generous light and ventilation from two sides of each unit. Each set of two towers is connected by spacious bridges with sculptural openings that serve as semi-private lounges for tenants of that floor. The second-floor podium has lush landscaping and outdoor seating areas for entertaining and relaxing in the large open spaces between buildings.

Four community-serving commercial storefronts and cafes are collected around the two residential lobbies at grade, providing amenities for the residents and neighbors alike.

Because the building is located one block from the EXPO Line and two blocks from north and southbound bus lines, parking is limited on site by code while bicycle parking is enhanced to take advantage of this pedestrian-friendly location. There are 238 secured bicycle storage spaces for residents, guests and retail employees, two dozen of which are cargo bicycle storage spaces. Adjacent to the bicycle storage is a restroom with lockers, shower, toilet, and sink for the commercial bike-commuters.

 Roof-top solar collectors produce more than enough electrical requirements for the public spaces. Solar hot water pre-heat collectors and VRF HVAC systems increase energy efficiency, lower energy costs and create a highly-sustainable urban development.

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