Targeted at young professionals and "trendy, art-centric people," the 27-unit North Parker in San Diego seeks to connect the city's North Park, South Park, and Balboa/Downtown neighborhoods. Designed and built by local firm Jonathan Segal, FAIA, the distinctive three-story structure provides five commercial spaces on the ground floor, including restaurants, and an architectural office. A floating concrete frame denotes the duplex residential units located on the upper floors, accessed via an exterior walkway.
Developed as affordable housing to replace urban blight that previously occupied the site, the building makes the most of outdoor living in San Diego's balmy clime. The ground floor promotes open pedestrian access between spaces while hiding parking behind the street-facing commercial spaces. Gardens dot the interior and provide delightful open areas available to residents and workers alike. Each apartment offers cross ventilation from the street side to the building's central court.
A simple palette of concrete, steel, and glass is varied in its expression—concrete is sometimes painted, sometimes raw; glass runs from transparent to translucent—providing both a memorable overall image and thoughtful details.