The design of this multifamily apartment building intends to convey a sense of variation, almost randomness, seeking people’s attention by piquing their curiosity. The building appears organized, but how that organization is achieved is somewhat vague. It’s different than the normal arrangement of punched openings in a field of siding or brick. The design of the building is a study in heterogeneity. Instead of emphasizing horizontality by lining the windows up in rows, there is an emphasis on how things stack up. Diversity and contrast are also expressed with differing parapet heights, materials and colors.
The components that make up a building façade – windows, doors, balconies etc., have been organized into a variety of different design elements.
The design elements were arranged into a composition that expresses an appearance of nonuniformity. They make the composition appear as a village of individual units, but the iterative nature of their arrangement is not easily discernable. At the same time, it’s clear that the building was carefully planned to look like that.
The idea behind one of the design elements is a play on rectangles. A glass doors rectangle within a cedar wall rectangle within an opening in a wall rectangle, all in a column, competing for attention with adjacent design elements.
An adjacent design element may be a column of windows engaged in a back & forth rhythm coordinated with panel joints and window mullions.
To complete the composition, downspouts (*) that are oftentimes located on a building façade as an afterthought, have been strategically placed to take advantage of space between windows by providing a vertical punch that participates with the other design elements in a competition for the viewer’s attention.
No one sees or experiences the interior of a building except those that the occupant allows. But with rare exception, the exterior of a building is seen and experienced by others.
At Comfort Architecture, our approach to the design of building exteriors is to seek out ways to express typical architectural components that create value for our clients by providing a building appearance that generates interest and appreciation from both occupants of the building as well as the surrounding community. We stress the importance of how a building will be perceived by the people passing by.