Lindblad Architects

Baldwin Park Condos

Lindblad Architects

the Practice

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Cobblestone Pines met jurisdictional hurdles

Cobblestone Pines Condos (located in Baldwin Park, California) tri-plex module exterior entry elevation.

Building program

Seeing upscale changes in the nearby neighborhood, owner Bruce Mulhearn opted to develop the site for low-density, multi-family residences. J. Paul Lindblad, Cobblestone Pines Condominiums' Architect, utilized a contemporary Mediterranean style for the project, located in Baldwin Park. City planning required unit plan offsets, significant wall and roof setbacks and window treatment. Programmed for efficient circulation and activity mix, the 12-unit private gated condominium complex has a 1227 square foot, two-story, three-bedroom, two and a half bath, 27.5' wide typical unit floor plan. Added sound isolation and an extra life-safety spinoff benefit (beyond what the building code required) was achieved in each unit's common wall from meeting structural requirements with a gypsum board two-hour fire wall.

Design considerations

Village-look of condos faces access drive.

Design details include all wood windows and French doors; both with true-divided lites, arched windows with eyebrows and dormers, oriel sun bays in both kitchen and master bath, and use of glass block as focal points and light-transmitters. Exterior finish is crisply executed rough textured, peach colored, skip-troweled stucco; variegated red and mallorca mission roof clay tile hip and hipped-gable roofs. Living and dining rooms have vaulted 9-foot ceilings and a Palladian door and window motif. All bedrooms feature vaulted ceilings. Each unit is provided with a gas fireplace; many units are equipped with direct through-the-wall venting which allows light and outside views completely around the firebox. Extensive use of ceramic tile is evident at the entry and dining area floors, fireplace mantle and hearth, kitchen and bathroom floors, counters and walls. Driveways are stamped, tile red concrete, resembling a cobblestone pattern. So the overall theme is evidenced in high quality materials which are richly and unsparingly expressed. Everywhere the eye turns reveals thoughtfully conceived, distinctive design elements.

Site layout concerns

Master bath and Kitchen outlook windows front on walled gardens.

City zoning required a minimum lot area of 2100 square feet and 200 square feet of open space per unit; making 16 units possible. Prevailing constraints included a Los Angeles County Flood Control District easement and a Los Angeles County Sanitation District easement that overlapped; causing: (1) a 20% reduction of the triangular-shaped 0.86 acre site's gross area where housing units could be positioned; and (2) a complex process of determining where to locate what kind of building - something akin to highway construction. When we considered the site's irregular configuration together with the two easements' encroachment; the maximum number of buildable units was reduced to twelve. The resulting advantage was an expansion of landscaped open space (totalling 0.3 acre) that gave the project a more residential air.

Planning primer - Live and learn

Spanish tile roof and articulated window details.

Midway through the task to obtain planning approval and the building permit; we realized that what the City planning department termed 'preliminary' in reality, not only involved preliminary drawings, but design development and even beginning working drawings! The City Planning department rechecked to find that maximum building length must be 125 feet! We proceeded to meet the letter of planning drawing requirements after the planning department sketched and suggested a tri-plex solution; having neglected a 12-foot building length excess on the initial five-plex planning submission. The project's overall look was maintained even after making the planning correction.

Ed Kuipers and Associates provided Mechanical, Electrical, & Plumbing Engineering.

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Last Updated 04-27-2009
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