A Walkable Community Comes to Irvine

A section of The Park, a sister residential project to the Village at Irvine Spectrum, is now open for leasing. The project is designed by MVE & Partners to be a high-density walkable community in an area and state where cars the primary mode of transport for most people.

Aerial View of The Park

Irvine, Calif.–A section of The Park, a sister residential project to the Village at Irvine Spectrum, is now open for leasing. The project is designed by MVE & Partners to be a high-density walkable community in an area and state where cars the primary mode of transport for most people.

Based on Walk Score’s assessment, this goal seems to have been accomplished. The web site rates Irvine as a whole ‘somewhat walkable’ but the neighborhood where The Park and Village are located as ‘very walkable.’ The project has a density of 51.00 du/ac.

The Park is sprawled on a 28.5-acre site featuring 1,456 apartments with a 2.5-acre park, whose design and amenities, such as kiosks and gazebos, were inspired by New York City’s Bryant Park. “It’s not as large as Bryant Park but neither are the buildings surrounding it; its scaled to size based on that,” Jeff Larsen, AIA, principal of MVE & Partners, tells MHN.

Irvine doesn’t have a real downtown area but the Park and the Village at Irvine Spectrum serve that purpose with several office buildings located in the neighborhood as well,” explains Larsen. The Park also offers residents swimming pools, recreational areas, paseos and landscaped walkways. Many ground-floor apartments feature private terraces opening to pedestrian walkstreets, engendering a community feeling within the development.

The Park is divided into three neighborhoods—Bryant, Logan, and Madison—each defined by architectural styles based on historical precedents found in Spain and Italy. MVE & Partners evolves this effective method of creating neighborhood feeling and identity from its award-winning master planning and architecture of the nearby Village at Irvine Spectrum.

The community was designed and built based on smart growth principles. “We like to take what’s already on the site and put a good number of people within walking distance of their workplaces,” says Larsen. Of course, as with any other project, this one too came with its set of challenges. “The area has a lot of really large streets which we had to privatize in order to maintain them. Also, another challenges was activating the streets by putting pedestrians on them which was difficult to achieve because there is such a dominance of automobiles in Irvine.

In 2008, The Park was given a Gold Nugget Merit Award for “Best On-the-Boards Site Plan.”

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