Friday, October 14, 2011

AIA|LA UDC & Townhouse Dev. Hollywood

Thank you, the project is looking interesting.

Just a few comments:


          One of the problems with owning a condo is that you cannot change the color of your front door without getting approval from the HOA (personal experience) – let alone really design your own home DIFFERENTLY from the ones next to them. This project looks a little bit that way – do the owner’s have the freedom to really treat this like their own home? I also question the shared driveway in the middle of the block – does that tie them into some sort of PUD, which then in turn gives them the same restrictions as they would in a condo project?

          My second comment goes toward the absence of green space. In my ideal world, a rowhouse still has a garden (that is use-able) behind it, sometimes even a front yard; you save a lot of (city) space by not having little used sideyards. That fact alone can increase the neighborhood density to a level where the neighborhood can support economically efficient public transit – and provide people a similar level of comfort as they have in their single family homes.

I enclosed a couple of images:

One is of a new block of row houses in Trier – Germany. Note the  street frontage, different building designs and good gardens in the back.

Bruno Taut – and architect often forgotten, but he built great early industrial neighborhoods in post WW I Germany. Again, note the variety in this transit oriented garden neighborhood!

Ernst May – another German giant, often forgotten – just look at the gardens again!

Of course, if one looks at any northern European, or pre-car American industrial town, rowhouses are everywhere, most with gardens. And many of the owners have made changes to the designs of their houses (which caused architectural critics following the ‘white god’ philosophy of Thomas Wolff to dismiss this building type as awful, because the people are destroying the pristine aesthetic J). Call me strange, but I think it is great that people are changing their own houses (I have a few choice words about Design Review boards, but we save that for a later day – just a buzzword – beige-y-fying.)

Lastly, I added a couple of images of rowhouses Mark Mack did in Venice – I think this is a similar type of the projects as you have in mind?

I appreciate that you can take the initiative for this discussion. It’ll be great, and I am looking forward to it.

Let’s talk with Ryan Lehman, and see if he wants to help out with quality streets discussion combined with a building type discussion for the last installation of this triad.


Gerhard W. Mayer AIA LEED-AP | MayerArchitects

T: (310) 437-0735 | C: (310) 382-6495  |  |

railLA / railCA founding board  |

P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

From: Thos. M Jones []
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:05 PM
Subject: AIA UDC & Townhouse Dev. Hollywood

Hi Erick,

I hope you'll be at next Wednesday's AIA Urban Design Committee meeting. 

Gerhard Meyer mentioned Townhouses as one alternative housing model but that it is not present here as stand-alone housing. I agree with him that it would be something that should be in the mix.  I had mention a "townhouse" project in Hollywood. It is called the Gatsby and the units are sold as single family residences. Would you know much about 'how' these were processed or if the 'fall' within the current codes. It is definitely more a question of their process and lad-use than architecture. 

Here are two links regarding the developer, etc,

I put a call into M2A Architects but have not heard back.

The  photos attached are from a few days ago. 

Otherwise I hope al lis going well and that I'll see you next week. 


Thomas M. Jones, Architect
mobile 1 (323) 363-0670

No comments:

Post a Comment