At Lex on Orange, TCA Architects and AMLI Residential took on the challenge of bridging the gap between commercial and residential design—literally.
The community's prime location between the shopping and entertainment venue of Brand Avenue to the east and the residential district across Orange Avenue to the west make it a highly desirable spot for the young target market. But the location also made it crucial that Lex on Orange appropriately ease the transition between the distinct neighborhoods.
"The massing is large enough to fill in the commercial neighborhood, while the residential components—roof decks, live–work units, balconies, etcetera—add a smaller scale," says Eric Olsen, vice president and managing partner of TCA's LA Studio and lead principal in charge on the project.
To maximize the impact of the unique infill site—two lots with an alley running between them—the architects designed three buildings connected by a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the alley and a large courtyard in the center of the community.
"The central courtyard is one of the defining elements of the design. It connects all three buildings and blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space," Olsen says. "The bridge expands on this space and adds a distinct quality in the way that it activates the alley, which became an appealing urban space through this development."
The blend of indoor–outdoor space helps create the walkable, "live, work, play" environment the developers craved. That vibe is furthered by the community's many luxury amenities, including a sixth-floor open-air roof deck with private cabanas and an outdoor yoga deck.
A Hollywood-style theater and bar and two game lounges give residents no shortage of places to entertain, while a two-story fitness center and a resort-style pool provide avenues for recreation and relaxation.
The units themselves are equally as modern, with 9-foot ceilings, quartz countertops, and full-sized washers and dryers. To help residents save on utilities, the units come equipped with smart thermostats, Energy Star–rated appliances, and WaterSense–certified fixtures.
Lex on Orange is fully smoke free, as well, and boasts LEED Silver certification.