The success of this kind of “infill” development is in the subtlety and thoughtfulness of the mix, and in sensitivity to context and to precedent. Mission-Meridian gets it right, clustering lofts, townhomes, flats, even a few detached residences, some shops and a restaurant around three courtyards in a walkable older neighborhood of single family homes. Courtyard housing was a popular “type” in L.A. in the ’20s and ’30s; incredibly, little has been built since — especially surprising given that the demands exists: There are some 350 names on the list for 67 units at M-MV. Courtyards are a quasi-public space that add sunlight and air and mediate between the home and the street, allowing for both density and green space.
While starchitecture has certainly given L.A. an edge, it’s those who look back as well as forward who will show us the way to a brave new world.