Melding contemporary design with sustainability creates a new generation of architecture that embraces the movement towards healthier, smarter living
By Genevieve Smith
With clients such as the ABC Green Home 3.0 and Jamboree Housing Corporation, as well as working closely with government agencies and local communities, Danielian Associates is also gaining considerable and valuable experience on the challenges of designing affordable housing that must compete with the look and feel of market-rate properties in today’s world.
Danielian Principal Michael Boyd, AIA, LEED AP, points out that whereas the design of market-rate housing, whether single family detached or multifamily, is driven primarily by competition, affordable housing needs to have strong curb appeal. Affordable housing must also comply with factors such as low income housing tax credit rules and state and federal financing constraints.
“Although affordable housing has a different set of requirements that make it especially challenging to design, it is nevertheless a challenge that I find fulfilling,” says Boyd. “In many ways, it demands a higher degree of creativity and design problem solving than would normally be the case with a market-rate project where your primary goal is to design a property that competes aesthetically in the marketplace. At the end of the day, good design doesn’t necessarily cost more money.”
Another affordable housing project designed by Danielian Associates that reflects a high level of design quality is Jamboree’s Clark Commons in Buena Park, CA. Located within a master-planned urban village developed by market-rate builder City Ventures, Clark Commons is on a 1.94-acre site that was previously a blighted area that housed a non-conforming retail center, the city’s public works maintenance yard, an auto repair facility, and a industrial property.
“The design challenge with Clark Commons was the fact that it is right next to City Ventures’ new market-rate townhome property, The Parker Collection, featuring highly attractive, urban-inspired architecture that make a strong design statement,” Boyd notes. “Our goal was to deliver a project that would be aesthetically comparable to The Parker Collection so there was no discernable design difference as you walk from one property to the other. I believe we achieved that goal.”
Designed for LEED Silver certification, Clark Commons is a two and three-story structure built over a concrete podium deck for parking and a recreation area. The entirely smoke-free development features a large community center with laundry, fitness and technology amenities, outdoor dining and play areas, and the community park. The property also includes a 3,000-square-foot community center adjacent to the street, activating the sidewalk to create a pedestrian-friendly experience for the entire neighborhood while the unique angles of the building structure create dynamic outdoor spaces.
Whatever the project or location, Danielian Associates’ mission is to create real design solutions that work on every level and allow for the best possible results based on the client’s goals. As today’s product designs continue to evolve to accommodate a wider array of lifestyles and family needs from high-end to affordable, Danielian’s clients benefit from the melding of the firm’s longtime experience with its next generation of architects and architecture.
There is also a newfound concern for resources and environmental quality, according to John Danielian. “The disconnected, single-use planning approaches of the past are simply no longer viable in an increasingly populated and urban world,” he explains. “As we become more urbanized, connectivity and the quality of design for the public realm become increasingly important.
“Equally important is the need to address natural resources and the environmental sensitivity of our designs such as the ABC 3.0 Green Home as they connect and impact our environment,” Danielian continues. “Internationally, the importance of well-informed land planning has reached an all-time high due to rapid population growth, particularly in cities and urbanized areas worldwide.”
Whatever the project or location, Danielian Associates’ mission is to create real design solutions that work on every level and allow for the best possible results based on the client’s goals. As today’s product designs continue to evolve to accommodate a wider array of lifestyles and family needs, ranging from high-end to affordable, Danielian’s clients benefit from the melding of the firm’s longtime experience with its next-generation of architects.
Genevieve Smith is an Assistant Editor for Builder and Developer magazine. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.