Anticipating the Roosevelt light rail station two blocks away, the Eleanor mixed-use TOD was literally ahead of its time as the first neighborhood development to bring multi-family scale to a half block of single family residences. As the first project to anticipate the changes soon to come to the neighborhood, the design required a sensitivity to scale and a graciousness of approach.
The ultimate solution references the historic stream corridor running through the neighborhood a block away, while addressing a grade change of more than 20 feet across the site. The seeps that lined this valley are brought back in the form of cascading bioretention planters around the building and through the courtyard which terminate at the prominent lowest corner of the site. This history also provides inspiration for the courtyard composition with the boardwalk becoming the stream of people flowing through.
Two water features support this story of water, and provide added benefit of white noise for a site directly adjacent to I-5. The water feature at the building entry welcomes visitors to linger. Direct access from the sidewalk at street level to the fitness room provides both visual interest and ease of access. The second water feature sets a restful tone to the courtyard, while inviting residents to linger near running water on hot days.
Preserving existing street trees and installing a few new, large ones allowed for an immediate feeling of belonging to the neighborhood and promotes an appropriate sense of scale.
Two roof decks provide a mix of fire pits, barbeques and casual gaming, with just enough planting to provide scale and comfort to the spaces. A subtle scrabble board pattern set within the rooftop pavers add a touch of whimsy.