Photo: Kevin C. Korczyk

Multifamily Density with Tenant-Winning Style

The prospect of double-podium projects like WREN spreading throughout southern California excites Cobo and Zapata. “New code language allowing multiple podium levels with Type III wood construction allows us to maximize the density and speed of wood construction,” observes Cobo. For developers, that represents “bonus density” within Type III construction.

A new chapter for Los Angeles’ fastrising South Park district was delivered when a $144 million, 362-unit multifamily community called WREN warmly greeted its first residents.

The glittering pair of seven-story buildings transform the skyline along Pico Boulevard through a series of innovations, including the city’s first Type III double-podium design. The project is earning rave reviews from the owner, tenants, city officials, and the designer community.

WREN launched a six-building, $1.2 billion South Park community that will ultimately add over 2,000 rental units to the city’s housing stock. “The owner has big plans. WREN brings the first phase of that vision to market quickly,” explains Matthew Cobo, AIA, associate principal of Togawa Smith Martin (TSM). TSM is an L.A.- based architect firm specializing in West Coast multifamily projects.

Double-Podium Breakthrough

The TSM design team faced the challenge of making a signature design statement that met the owner’s 195 units/acre density requirement. “We had to figure out how to hit that density within an 85 foot height,” Cobo says. They accomplished it through an innovative double-podium design supporting five levels of wood-framed structure, utilizing what is now a city of Los Angeles standard code modification.

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