Gill Courts
Pasadena, California


The full setback on the Fair Oaks Avenue block face encourages pedestrian activity and provides open space access to middle and rear courts. The L-shaped design incorporates the traditional Pasadena garden courtyard style residential multifamily housing, while incorporating a shared “California style” driveway with the development to the south thereby minimizing the driveway frontage. This project has low massing and is sited against the northern property line to give space to the historic structure and trees of the southern neighbor. The front unit addresses the street with its porch element while the walkway leads to a series of courtyards through a middle-walled garden court which is seen as a landscaped haven for residents through an arch. The main courtyard of the garage deck is near the same elevation as the street. This approach allows the gardens to flow naturally from the street edge and into the new private gardens. To further distinguish this project from the existing Craftsman style project currently north of the site and new Victorian-Craftsman style of the proposed project south of the site, we are incorporating the stylistic design attitudes of Irving Gill with low horizontal massing, porch entries and a variety of massing step backs and courtyards. This allows the use of simple geometric forms and proportions with rich rhythmic detail of ganged windows, projecting corner window boxes, trellis elements, arcade entries and porches. The new construction project has a mix of three-bedroom and four-bedroom two-story townhome plans. Floor plans have been combined into paired building footprints to create a horizontal mass with a large arched porch element aas a common design feature. Careful detailing with a variety of window treatments including corner projecting window boxes, trellis elements and massing proportions will bring richness to the project that is consistent with the design vocabulary of the style that is being used as a reference.