Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Multi-Family Dwellings: Safari Drive Condominiums

Jenny Sullivan wrote an article about Safari Drive Condominiums, she stated "Americans often dismiss the idea of downtown living because they assume it means giving up certain benefits of suburban life, such as yards, garages, and swimming pools."

I read her article and started reading more about the project and i find it interesting that the characteristic of this design illustrates such an inviting place to live in.

 Safari Drive reinvents the suburban form. The barrier of distance between the exclusively residential and commercial zones is compressed to a livable dimension. Potentially daunting in the context of low-lying suburbia, the massing of five story buildings is modulated to a human scale, graciously introducing a viable level of density in the midst of consumptive sprawl. Within its own bounds, the project is a self-sustaining, vibrant mixed-use urban neighborhood. Small commercial functions—live/work lofts and ground floor retail spaces—are mixed among the residential units, contributing a shared energy to the public spaces.

Outdoor rooms, shaped and shaded by the enclosing buildings, are the organizing framework for the project. The experience of walking from home to shopping and beyond is not only protected from the intense desert elements, but enriched by a varied sequence of exterior spaces. Circulation is organized within a traditional urban grid, culminating at the heart of the site in a circular court shared by cars, pedestrians and outdoor dining. This deliberate blending of disparate activities fosters spontaneity and a rich public life.

Design response to the desert climate relies on the judicious use of thermal mass, deep overhangs, a high-performance thermal envelope, and naturally weathering, locally manufactured materials. Native, drought-tolerant landscaping is provided throughout the development. A “cool tower” passively cools a public courtyard with a simple, wind-driven technology borrowed from middle-eastern desert vernacular, and provides prospect and visual focus for the project.

Project Size: 165 condominium units and amenities totaling approximately 325,000 gross square-feet of building area (Phase 1 and 2 combined) on a 4.81 acre site (34 units/acre). Completed Phase 1: 5 buildings; 95 condominium units (ranging from 800 square-feet to 2300 square-feet each), 17,000 square-feet of live work lofts and 10,000 square-feet of retail space.

Safari Drive has been certified by Scottsdale's Green Building Program for Multi-Family Dwellings.

I recommend to review the miller hull partnership website for more architecture and landscape architecture project.


  1. Beautiful views of the place. I really like waterfront condominiums. The design was great too.

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