FAIR OAKS & GREEN
MIXED USE / TOD
CLIENT: M & D Development
Architect of Record:
Gonzalez Goodale Architects
A mixed-use retail and office building in the heart of Old Pasadena, this project faced a number of unique constraints.
It needed to mediate between the emerging needs of contemporary retail for more robust scale|transparency and the traditional punched-opening low one-and-two-story buildings along Green Street.
Also along Green Street were significant canopies of ficus trees that City Commissions hold sacrosanct. Thus the building had to shape itself around these canopies.
Finally, though the natural order of Fair Oaks is for buildings to be cheek-to-jowl infill buildings, Pasadena Heritage held a side 'facade easement' on the new building's neighbor, which required a most un-urban gap in the middle of the block.
The buiding's planning embraced this building's gap and extended it through to connect with the City's pedestrian alley system, thus enlivening the block's ground plane.
Issues of scale and tree relationship were accommodated with simplicity, with emphasis on a sidewalk-engaged ground floor, a second floor that folds in to accommodate the trees and form a pedestrian office deck, and a low-slung continuously glazed 3rd floor that sits back from the overall mass under a floated rectilinear pavilion roof.
As with most projects of significant scale in the City of Pasadena, a principal track of the work was to present sequentially with City Commissions, to develop the rationale for the work, and to argue the design to a successful conclusion among often-competing civic voices.
Along with several other projects along the Old Pasadena's Green Street vicinity, (including Gonzalez Goodale's headquarters building), this building has contributed substantially to folding this street into the active pedestrian life of the downtown.