Withee Malcolm Receives Honors for Three Multifamily Communities

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By Erika Schnitzer, Associate Editor Torrance, Calif.—Withee Malcolm Architects has received three top awards for its recent multifamily commissions.“We pride ourselves in creating projects that fit the context, that deliver based on what’s around it. We want to be good neighbors, but we want to have projects that enhance the community around it. Because we […]

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate Editor Torrance, Calif.—Withee Malcolm Architects has received three top awards for its recent multifamily commissions.“We pride ourselves in creating projects that fit the context, that deliver based on what’s around it. We want to be good neighbors, but we want to have projects that enhance the community around it. Because we do infill, lifestyle is a big part of that,” Dan Withee, principal at Withee Malcolm Architects, tells MHN.Two of the honors were 2009 PCBC (Pacific Coast Builders Conference) Gold Nugget Awards. Withee’s Carson Senior/Workforce mixed-use project (top right) received the award for “Outstanding on the Boards Senior Housing,” while Avalon Anaheim (at left, below) won for “Outstanding Mid-Rise Apartment.”Carson is a public-private partnership between the City of Carson and Tom Safran & Associates that is slated to include 90 units of senior affordable housing and 150 units of for-sale workforce housing over 30,000 square feet of commercial space.The inspiration behind the design for this project was Tom Safran’s visit to Northern France, says Withee. “We used it as a starting point to theme the building. The idea is a series of buildings, not one big building, developed over time.” The building, which is one of the first in a larger project, is expected to create a pedestrian orientation to the neighborhood. “PCBC recognized it was unique. It was really an urban infill project in an area that really wants it and needs it. The neighborhood is not the most lively neighborhood, and they are trying to transform it,” notes Withee.The senior portion of Carson is the first phase of the project, and it is expected to break ground this month.Avalon Anaheim Stadium, located in the Platinum Triangle and which D.R.Horton originally planned as a condominium, was finished as a high-end apartment project, though Withee asserts that the finishes did not change.The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council presented Parkview Court with a Gold Award for best active adult community.Parkview Court (below, right), consisting of 60 independent living condominiums—which were developed by West Millennium Group—is part of a master plan infill community that includes 350 units and 30,000 square feet of retail space, as well as two levels of parking, all located adjacent to Wilson Park, one of the largest parks in Torrance, Calif. “The thing that made it different in this award category was that we themed it as kind of a beach aesthetic,” notes Withee. “That beach aesthetic in this location seemed to work really well and it sold—the people who live there really like it.”Good design, says Withee, is all about “trying to meet a certain demographic niche in a context.” For the Anaheim project, he says, “it had to make a statement, so we did a different contemporary design—it’s colorful and vibrant.” The senior project, he adds, “was aimed at an older demographic, and it was all about convenience and being close to activities we thought they would appreciate. And then the Carson project is trying to create a whole pedestrian atmosphere in their downtown and generating a different kind of aesthetic.”

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