Blackbirds LA: Neighborhood Innovation

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Nestled upon the the hills of Echo Park is a new residential community. Blackbirds has set out to create, a new way of living that is sensitive to the neighborhood and sensitive to the demands of conscious citizens/homebuyers.

Blackbirds has been under development for the last 3 years and is set to open to the public on June 14th following the June 10th ribbon cutting ceremony. Developers, Local Construct have teamed up with architect , Barbara Bestor , and landscape designer, Mia Lehrer to create an 18 home micro-neighborhood located in Echo Park. Blackbirds sets a precedent for medium density development under LA’s Small Lot Ordinance . Local Construct took a different approach to development, and although doing things differently takes more time and money up front, they wanted to make a difference. They set out to create a better and more sustainable community that fits into it’s surrounding rather than building mega mansions or huge multi-block complexes hoping to make the most money in the quickest way possible.

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Let’s talk about parking for a minute, an issue in the hillside’s of Echo Park and all over Los Angeles. Parking underneath the residential building or a typical parking lot is what you might expect, but instead of this units are arranged to form a living street, also known as a woonerf, that serves for a variety of uses. Each house gets two spots, but because of the proximity to LA’s overlooked public transport system, the potential homeowners may very well be one-car households. Local Construct’s goal was to “create site plan and design that meshed with the surrounding neighborhood of single-family homes and minimized traffic and parking impacts,” and I think they have done a great job with this.

Now that we’ve parked let’s make our way inside. On your way you may pass the community gardens as you meander through the beautifully landscaped living street as you make your way up to the front door of your thoughtful and modern home. The exteriors are in context with the neighboring community and the modern interiors are spacious and open creating a clean canvas allowing each homeowner to tell their own story. The open kitchen plan is great for entertaining and has top of the line appliances, fixtures, and finishes. The tall ceilings, expansive windows with mountain views, private decks, and cantilevered balconies really connect you with the outdoors. Built-in bookshelves throughout provide ample storage and plenty of room to display your fascinating collection of books or your most prized possessions. The staging for the model unit was executed to perfection by The Platform Experiment and completely captured the beauty of the architecture and artful living environment of this community.

Blackbirds Supper Club May 27 2015 by Monica Orozco

Backyard dinner parties, a sense of belonging, easy access to the growing and thriving Echo Park community and the rest of the city, and gorgeous views of the mountains and nature allow you to live and enjoy the neighborhood in such an organic way. Thank you Local Construct, Bestor Architecture, and Mia Lehrer for creating such a thoughtful community that will hopefully change the way we continue to develop communities and integrate new development into existing Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Open House on Sunday June 14th from 12-5.
2040 Vestal Avenue.

blackbirdsla.com

 

 

 

 

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Annie May is a Los Angeles based interior architect and partner at BAM Design Lab, a creative design firm that specializes in interiors.

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