BAR’s design concept for LittleJohn Commons was to create a building which speaks and relates to the existing adjacent Del Monte warehouse building and it’s proposed renovation, also designed by BAR. The senior housing design, however, differs from the warehouse development – it is complementary through the subtle use of scale, materials and color, yet contrasts by form and with a more contemporary look.
Scale is an important factor in relating the senior building with the historic warehouse. The new building footprint has been reduced to create a view corridor to the warehouse building. This reduction also allows BAR to provide a landscaped parking court to avoid structured and/or underground parking. Window size and types, and the overhanging patio bays, reflect the warehouse’s design elements, but have been scaled appropriately for the senior building. In addition, there is a through-walk linking to Sherman Street, and bays are proportioned to indicate a ‘townhome’ scale with stoops at the ground level to relate the design to the context of the residential neighborhood.
Exterior finishes in the Senior building, such as the balcony guardrails, window mullions and the main entrance canopy will be selected to complement the industrial character of the warehouse. In some areas, a wood grained siding will add a contemporary and warm feel to the building. Landscaping will be consistent with the Master Plan and warehouse project to create a uniform ground plane through the relatively flat site of the two projects. The courtyard of the senior building will feature planting to attract birds and butterflies. Evergreens, or similar planting, will be included so there remains color during the winter months.