The Harper Condominiums are a four-story, 17-unit multi-family project located on a quiet residential street just one block south of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Built on a relatively small lot in a city with notoriously strict planning requirements, Harper Condominiums comfortably maximizes its entitlement while simultaneously providing amenities unique to the highly competitive luxury condo market it occupies.
We were engaged to begin work on the project in 2016, brought on to re-design the structure after the previous designs did not capitalize on the full available entitlement. The parcel’s entitlement allows for up to 17 individually owned residences, yet previous designs were only able to implement 14. After some creative planning with respect to parking, we were able to adhere to the city’s stringent planning requirement while successfully increasing the count to 17 two-bedroom units averaging 1,400 SF each.
Despite the increase in density, careful programmatic design ensured both the separation and privacy of individual units while creating practical outdoor amenity spaces for the enjoyment of future residents.
Half of the structure has been set back 30 feet to create a raised “front yard” common area, while a courtyard sits at the center of the structure. This unique configuration allowed for more stand-alone spaces, not flanked by units on either side. All but four of the residences will be corner units.
Additionally, penthouse-level residences have private rooftop terraces, while those below come with generous individual decks and patios. The main circulation, too, faces the main central courtyard and is open-to-air at both ends, providing the experience of exterior circulation and natural ventilation instead of the typical enclosed corridor. These features create an abundance of outdoor interaction rare for this type of construction and further contribute to each unit’s singular feel.
Ground-floor residences, which are typically less desirable, have also been enhanced. These spaces eschew the traditional multi-complex format with dedicated above-ground parking spots and private entrances, resulting in a feel more akin to a single-family home—despite being situated among 14 other units. The remaining parking has been distributed below ground.
Like with Line Lofts, as well as numerous other projects of ours, the Harper Condominiums façade is largely informed by the building’s plan. The playful and seemingly inadvertent rhythm of the façade is a reaction to what we feel is the optimal design for the spaces within. Bronze panels are used to simply outline the various programs, subsequently creating a unique pattern that breaks up the mass of the building and provides it with a varied texture.
The result is a building that expresses a different façade on each side: some in a checkerboard pattern, shifting slightly to reveal windows and outdoor patio spaces, otherwise in linear alignment, revealing and concealing various elements at regular intervals.
The Harper Condominiums began construction in 2021 and are expected to complete mid-2023.