November 18, 2016
By Dennis Kaiser
Development of Natura City’s Blue Bay, a luxury condo project in Irvine, CA, is set to begin soon. Connect Media wanted to find out how so much glass was incorporated into the 120-unit, urban-oriented living project. Irvine-based MVE + Partners’ Matthew McLarand shared insights about how they achieved such a high level of transparency in the sleek, contemporary design.
Q: What is this new design typology? Why is it being explored in CA now, and what other markets have it?
A: Blue Bay is unlike any building system being explored in California right now – we’re really only seeing it in Phoenix and Atlanta, and maybe a few other pockets throughout the country.
We are responding to a growing desire of our developer clients – which is to build residential condominiums that deliver more than what is achievable using a wood frame system. We have created a design typically built using concrete that instead uses steel for a more flexible and cost-effective product. It allows us to leverage our creativity and expertise to deliver a building that eliminates many restrictions afforded by wood construction.
Q: What are the main elements or tenets of the new building typology? And what makes it work?
A: The building boasts a distinct urban characteristic, highlighted by the extensive use of glass and windows. This is achieved by utilizing a structural design consisting of a load-bearing metal framing system with internally located shear walls. Typically, such glass window-wall applications are reserved for concrete construction commonly associated with residential high-rises. By using steel, we have created an economically friendly design that preserves high-quality construction and materials. In turn, we can create setbacks throughout the design that give the building a unique character and allow for more rooftop decks.
Q: What are the big features and advantages?
A: Blue Bay is a unique project that provides an elevated building quality above the wrap and wood frame communities that have become so prevalent across the West. We planned the community for ideal liveability by embracing a design that responds to the impacts of the surrounding commercial context. The plan incorporates a variety of townhome and terraced penthouse units situated along the urban edge of McGaw Street, and oriented towards the mountain views to the northeast. The remaining units are oriented internally to face courtyards minimizing the impact of noise and views of the surrounding commercial buildings. Residents can also enjoy a community rooftop pool courtyard among the other private rooftop decks, garages connected to each unit, and sweeping views of the mountains to the northeast.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser