Spotlight on Community: Ascent Apartments

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Photography by Jeff Smith Photography and Steve Schafer Photography

Formerly part of the landmark Hitachi campus, where electric power infrastructure and information technologies were pioneered, this triangular site provided a challenging canvas for this luxury rental community. Keeping true to the site’s history of innovation, the design provided a unique entry experience: a drive-through parking structure transformed into an opulent porte-cochere and vehicular lobby, which orchestrates the arrival sequence.

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The architecture of the two residential buildings reinterprets the mid-century industrial buildings on the Hitachi campus. Drawing inspiration from the dawn of computing, including the modules created by old computer punch cards, buildings were crafted with an elegant yet disciplined vintage flavor. Design elements include punched opening panels and metal mesh railings, illuminated vertical blades and warm yet regimented brick and siding. Units provide open style floor plans and luxury finishes throughout. Large composite windows and top-level lofts add airy sophistication and a varied roof line. The result is a slick, high-tech style with planar and material breaks.

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The transit-oriented community sits within walking distance of a light rail station and gives convenient access to freeways to the major tech employers in the region. The curvature of an adjacent freeway off-ramp creates a free-flowing landscaped urban oasis in contrast to the rectilinear discipline of the residential buildings. An emphasis on entertainment offers residents sumptuous vistas of the half-acre grand park, resort-style saltwater pool, outdoor kitchens, and bark park. The unparalleled amenities promote intermingling throughout with a resident lounge and fitness center and spin room which open onto the lavish outdoor environment. The dynamic power play between the buildings and the grand outdoor oasis captures the sexy joie de vivre of the technology hub in the Silicon Valley. With BuildItGreen certification, the project is poised to nurture and entertain the best and brightest of a new era in technology.

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