May 11, 2017
Connect Los Angeles is coming on June 21st. Here’s where to get more details and register.
By Dennis Kaiser
It is impossible not to notice the building boom underway when traversing across downtown Los Angeles. The influx of new residential communities adds vitality to canyons of urban offices that once fell dark when workers departed.
Lifescapes International’s Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs shared how DTLA is evolving, what is driving the growth, and the secrets to creating environments for urban dwellers. She says, the changing urban dynamic is reflected in the recently completed TEN50, a 25-story project with 151 luxury residences the landscape architectural firm helped bring to life in DTLA. It is the first new high-rise condo project to be completed in DTLA in more than a decade, and features resort-style amenities that feel like a boutique hotel, including entertainment bars, fire tables for city-light viewing parties, and the first air-delivery-ready drone landing pad in the country.
Q: What trends are emerging in the design and development of luxury condo projects?
A: The demand for resort-style living is revolutionizing the condo sector. Today’s residents are demanding entertainment-driven, fully-integrated and immersive experiences beyond what is offered at a traditional condo community. As a result, developers are pushing the boundaries of architecture and design to deliver experiential environments that cultivate a sense of community and complement an urban lifestyle.
One design trend we are currently seeing is the integration of extensive landscaping in urban-infill development projects. In dense, urban areas where space is limited, developers are collaborating with landscape architects to optimize community spaces. By infusing landscaping throughout outdoor terraces and rooftop decks, landscape designers can create a lush, welcoming environment that generates a true sense of community for urban dwellers.
What is driving the recent condo development boom in DTLA?
A: There are several factors that are fueling this explosive growth. First, foreign investment in the DTLA market is driving much of this development momentum.
In addition, the demand for urban living in highly walkable communities with access to amenities is attracting an influx of residents and businesses to DTLA, which is sparking much of this new development. TEN50, for example, features for-sale residences above 5,800 square feet of ground-floor retail, providing homeowners with built-in retail amenities.
On a larger scale, the strong economic growth and cultural revitalization of DTLA is transforming it into the cultural epicenter of the west, with major players in the arts, entertainment, and digital media industries moving to the region, creating a need for housing in this market.
Q: What is “The Fifty” and how did this concept emerge at TEN50?
A: Our vision behind “The Fifty,” the sixth-floor terrace that spills seamlessly out from the inside, was to create an urban oasis by incorporating a variety of vibrant plant materials throughout the outdoor deck, including a large flowering naked coral tree as the focal point. We designed a number of multi-level garden spaces to accommodate social gatherings from large to intimate, well-appointed BBQ areas with fire pits and a built-in entertainment bar, a natural tree wall of more than 30 large Japanese blueberry trees, and a vibrant tapestry of over 1,000 shrubs.
We united indoor and outdoor spaces by creating “outdoor living rooms,” cultivating mini-destinations where residents can gather and socialize in a comfortable setting. The idea was to create engaging lifestyle spaces that are ideal for entertaining and hosting social events. At the same time, we capitalized on the resort feel and city views by providing unobstructed views from the zero-edge pool and spa.
By blending urbanism with thoughtful landscape design, we created a fresh, immersive environment that truly enriches and elevates the resident experience.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser