The Year in Design

From mid-rise to high-rise, from student apartments in Austin to luxury condominiums in Boston, an impressive variety of multifamily designs have been unveiled in 2016.

From mid-rise to high-rise, from student apartments in Austin to luxury condominiums in Boston, an impressive variety of multifamily designs have been unveiled in 2016. The projects featured here represent a broad spectrum of style, sizes and materials. Their designers are an equally eclectic group. Some are already internationally renowned, while others are future stars or regionally respected veterans. Here are 10 compelling designs in multifamily housing today, with inside-view architects’ commentaries on what went into them.


Image courtesy of Williams New York

45 Park Place

Developer: Soho Properties

Architects: Michel Abboud of SOMA Architects, exterior; Piero Lissoni, interiors and amenities

Number of Units: 75

Location: 45 Park Place, New York City

Anticipated Completion: 2018

Category: Luxury

Architect Michel Abboud designed this 43-story tower with glass curtain walls and full-floor layouts. The elevators will open directly into each unit, which Abboud designed with residents’ experiences in mind.

“It’s a fusion of interior functions and user experience with the exterior environment, which is a key feature in the design, because in our project, it’s of extremely high value,” Abboud said. “There’s nothing blocking it, and the view itself is amazing because it’s all low-rise buildings in Tribeca. You can see both the rivers and every iconic building north of Park Place.”


Image courtesy of Cronin Group/Elkus Manfredi

150 Seaport Blvd.

Developer: Cronin Group

Architect: Elkus Manfredi

Number of Units: 110

Location: 150 Seaport Blvd., Boston

Anticipated Completion: 2019

Category: Luxury

Developer and architects went back to the drawing board on this one, but it’s all good. After Boston Mayor Marty Walsh exhorted developers to build more architecturally significant buildings, Cronin Holdings CEO Jon Cronin scrapped the original design in favor of one that honors the seafaring history of the building’s location. The $260 million development will create a 22-story condominium tower with a twisting and angular design reminiscent of a ship’s sails. A high-performance glazing system will wrap the building, providing solar control and views of the surrounding harbor.


Image courtesy of Lincoln Ventures/Mark Hart Architecture

The Ruckus

Developer: Lincoln Ventures

Architect: Mark Hart Architecture

Number of Units: 42

Location: 2502 Nueces St., Austin

Anticipated Completion: August 2017

Category: Student

This building on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin will have one- through five-bedroom units of luxury student housing. Amenities will include a fitness center and terrace, a gaming area, study lounges and conference rooms, a package concierge and a coffee bar.

“Our design goal was to make it pop, get some color in there,” said architect Mark Hart, who has been designing student housing for 20 years. Bumpouts framed in yellow were designed to look as if they could be moved around.

“I think that’s kind of cool,” he added. “We tried to put our theory shoes back on and remember what it was like to be back in architecture school.”


Image courtesy of JPI

Jefferson Stadium Park

Developer/Project Sponsor: JPI/Grand China Fund

Architect: Architects Orange

Number of Units: 1,079

Location: State College Boulevard & Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, Calif.

Anticipated Completion: Phases I and II, April 2019; Phase III, 2021

Category: Luxury

This $364 million apartment development next to Angel Stadium has phases designed for college-educated professionals and sports fans.

Phase I will have vertical color blocking, a corner element and varying window sizes, art-display space, a gamer lounge, a pool and a tanning ledge. Phase II’s city-inspired architecture will have large forms broken into grid patterns, plus a rooftop park, media area, game room, lap pool, fitness center and juice bar.

Phase III will have an industrial/sport theme with glass, metal and concrete finishes; a corner element; and a plaza. A clubhouse will overlook Angel Stadium, with space to showcase local teams, a pool, an indoor/outdoor fitness center and co-working space.


Image courtesy of Opus AE Group

365 Nicollet

Developer/Architect: Opus AE Group LLC

Number of Units: 369

Location: 365 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis

Anticipated Completion: August 2018

Category: Luxury

“Our design goals centered on creating a textured, sculptural building along Nicollet Mall, a 12-block stretch of land located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis … that is currently under construction,” said Opus senior vice president Dean Newins. “We intentionally positioned the building in such a way as to maximize the public’s ability to interface with the development along the unique pedestrian corridor (and) created a solution that draws attention from the top of the tower all the way down to the street. This produces an engaging environment that is key to the success of the public realm.”


Image courtesy of Blumenfeld Development Group/Bjarke Ingels Group

Gotham East 126th Residential

Developer: Blumenfeld Development Group

Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group

Number of Units: 233

Location: 145 E. 126th St., New York City

Anticipated Completion: 2018

Category: Market-rate/affordable

Blumenfeld’s first residential project will comprise studio, one- and two-bedroom units; an art studio for local talent; a lounge; and a fitness center.

“The façade of Gotham 126 drapes gently between the building’s two neighbors and leans inward to allow sunlight and air to reach the street while fulfilling the setback requirements,” architect Bjarke Ingels said in a report by Real Estate Weekly. “Like a good neighbor, it fits into the existing neighborhood, feeding from the community’s energy to add new sparks while continuing to show where East Harlem is heading.”

Aston Martin Residences night rendering

Images courtesy of G and G Business Developments/Aston Martin

Aston Martin Residences

Developer: G and G Business Developments

Architects: Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Mian Anger;
interior design by Aston Martin

Number of Units: 390

Location: 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami

Anticipated Completion: 2021

Category: Luxury

British sports car company Aston Martin enters the real estate design business with this 66-story waterfront tower. The building’s common areas will have the company’s signature leather and stitching details, according to its chief creative officer, Marek Reichman. The sail-shaped building will have a range of luxury one- to four-bedroom condominiums, a two-level fitness center with ocean views and a full-service spa. Seven penthouses and a duplex penthouse will each have a private pool and terrace.

The Lydian Corner

Image courtesy of Quadrangle Development Corp. & The Wilkes Co./Davis Carter Scott

 The Lydian

Developers: Quadrangle Development Corp. and The Wilkes Co.

Architect: Davis Carter Scott

Number of Units: 324

Location: 400 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

Anticipated Completion: March 2018

Category: Luxury

The Lydian marks the seventh building in the 2 million-square-foot, mixed-use Mount Vernon Place community.

The 14-story building will include studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom/den and two-bedroom units. Amenities will include a second-floor tranquility garden and cyber cafe, along with a cavalcade of rooftop features: a pool and spa, grilling stations, an herb garden, and a club room with a fireplace, pool table, televisions and a private dining area.

“The buildings in Mount Vernon Place are separate and distinct both in terms of use and architecture,” said Christopher Gladstone, president of Quadrangle Development Corp. “The goal is to create a successful live-work-play neighborhood that is interesting and distinct in terms of uses, design and overall urban experience.”

Next on Lex_201-Lexington3

Image courtesy of Fifield Cos./ Killefer Flammang Architects


Developer: Century West Partners

Architect: Killefer Flammang Architects

Number of Units: 494

Location: 201 W. Lexington Drive, Glendale, Calif.

Anticipated Completion: Fall 2019

Category: Luxury

Four six-story buildings with 8,140 square feet of ground-floor retail and services, started in 2016, are slated to comprise the largest apartment development in Los Angeles County.

The complex promises modern luxury finishes and amenities including a yoga studio, a screening room, an indoor golf range and a private massage room, along with bicycle lockers, underground parking, a game room, a business center, a competition-size pool and hot tubs, and a sky lounge. A partial opening is planned for the fall of 2018.

Riverline1_10All_Pedestrian view of G_FS_0

Image courtesy of Leadlease/Perkins + Will


Developers: Lendlease and CMK Cos.

Architects: Perkins + Will, with landscape architect Hoerr Schaudt

Number of Units: 3,600

Location: Chicago

Anticipated Completion: N/A

Category: Luxury

This waterfront master-planned community in Chicago’s South Loop will offer high-rise condos, apartments and townhomes across eight residential buildings on 14 acres. The first of three phases will include three residential buildings: Ancora, Current and Watershed—names inspired by Chicago’s river history and surrounding environment. It will also feature a 3.5-acre green space and a half-mile riverwalk along the entire property, with trails, parks and gathering spaces.

Amenities will include spas, a fitness center, private club rooms and collaborative working lounges. The subsequent two phases will bring 16,500 square feet of retail, with restaurants and other shops, although further details have not been released.

Originally appearing in the December 2016 issue of MHN.