In response to the rapidly growing urban population, Los Angeles-based firm Studio Antares envisions a 45-unit residential complex which focuses on design and comfort in the modern age. With such close proximity to the ocean, numerous wineries and mountain views, the KalThom Multifamily Residence in Downtown Ventura, a neighborhood just outside of Los Angeles, allows the residents to partake in the luxuries that the area has to offer while maintaining cognisance of contemporary urban demands. The project serves as a case study of alternative living for current generations whose lifestyles tend to lean toward urban living and who are technology oriented and health conscious. As the reliance upon other modes of transportation increases and the ownership of personal vehicles declines, the convenience of pedestrian access to areas like the beach and city center become highly sought after. Taking into consideration that the housing supply in urban areas is being overextended worldwide and more than half of the 7.2 billion people in the world are city-dwellers, the need to find suitable accommodation has never been more important.
The KalThom Multifamily Residence uses the concept of the micro-unit coupled with a mindfulness towards the future of the urban dwelling. A mixture of various flats of differing sizes was designed with contemporary households in mind and all the units maximize the ease and comfort of living while using minimal square footage. The units are grouped in townhouses of five, surrounding the private communal courtyard. Each townhouse has two apartments on the ground floor with a private patio, while the two second-floor apartments are accessible by private stair via the courtyard. At the top is a penthouse with a private roof terrace; this type of 2+2+1 configuration removes the necessity of corridors around the courtyard. Spatial experience becomes a focal point in every unit: while some have direct access from the street, others are penthouses with views of the mountains and ocean. All of the flats have a maximized sense of openness due to special configuration, ease of accessibility to an outdoor space and numerous windows within each unit. Amenities include semi-sunken underground parking, a large rooftop terrace with ocean views, mountain views, a fitness club and a retail space conveniently located on the same block. The perception of community and connection is woven both within the interior of the complex as well as the exterior. Inside the complex, the facades facing the courtyard have clean, modern forms with light cement plaster surfaces. These crisp surfaces serve as a backdrop for the abstract darker shapes of the exterior stairs, which are cladded with a profiled metal panel. The exterior design of the building addresses the strict zoning requirements of the city, where the facades echo the surrounding context. Bringing elements and materials such as industrial brick, gridded windows and corrugated metal from neighboring buildings help incorporate such an innovative building into the present urban fabric.
This project proves to be a kind of re-evaluation of the concept of urbanization and efficacy that does not eschew the inevitable, but rather works in a manner that paints an appealing and optimistic future. It is projected that by 2050, the global urban population is expected to rise to 6.33 billion, well over half of the projected world population of 9.6 billion. It is undeniable that the number of individually occupied houses are on the rise, yet housing has not kept pace with demographic change. In order to accommodate the needs of future generations, Studio Antares’ design of the KalThom Multifamily Residence addresses issues of affordability and availability by increasing the number of residents within a structure without increasing their footprint or sacrificing the quality of life.
Studio Antares A+E is a collaborative practice with aim on integration of architecture, arts and environment through emphasis on advanced methods of project delivery. We operate in a think-tank type of environment assembling team of experts for the particular needs of each job. Based in Los Angeles, California and practicing throughout the United States and around the world, we strive to understand the specific cultural context of each task that we undertake and to find a unique solution for each particular challenge.