Decker Courts
Pasadena, California


The proposed project includes the relocation of the Frank Decker House (1892 City of Pasadena Landmark). The design concept was to create a natural and suitable setting for relocation by incorporating the house behind and between the two significant trees of the front yard. Together, this places the Decker House as the primary element, with the new courtyard buildings as a secondary element which convincingly evokes the idea that all buildings could be historic neighbors. Setback and lower off to the side of the Decker are the two entry units which lead to the five rear units that are organized around a large central courtyard. The landscaped courts are the sloping lot are level to the street creating an inviting access both visually and physically for pedestrians. Vehicular access leads to a semi-underground garage using a shared driveway with the proposed project to the north The project design emphasizes smaller building footprints to create open spaces inspired by the City’s earliest history of the courtyards with multiple layers of buildings on a site. Floor plans have a range of three- and four-bedrooms as two-story townhomes in duplex and triplex combinations to create these smaller buildings. This mix of building sizes and footprint variations is used to create a range of different elevations and massing along the courtyard and rear property lines. The style of the newer buildings is complementary in materials and massing and evokes a slightly later (i.e., Craftsman) period that does not mimic the Victorian Queen Anne Style of the Decker House. Alternating sloping gable roofs, overhangs and a variety of siding materials and details further enliven the elevation design further.