The two-story Torrance Memory Care community is a 56 bed, 37,000 sq. ft. building along the dazzling Pacific Coast Highway. The design is coastal contemporary so although it has all of the required features of a licensed memory care community, the design itself is far from typical.
Real estate along the California coast is in high demand and large lots are at a premium. This site is only .81 acres and has a 28’-0” setback on the north–further limiting the developable area. This extra setback allowed us to incorporate an outdoor courtyard for the residents. There are also 20 on grade parking stalls that had to be factored into to the building’s limited footprint.
Density was achieved by adding a second story extension over the parking and access drive aisle. With the single loaded access drive, a traditional porte cochére (or covered entrance) was impractical. The solution was achieved by incorporating a modern steel cantilevered ported cochére. This achieved the program need while adding a dynamic entry feature with an attractive and resource-friendly vegetated cover. As with every project, we wanted to make the most of existing resources. The exposed drainage from the cover leads to a planter adjacent the front door–taking full advantage of water the cover receives. Provisions are also being made for solar energy to harness the plentiful California sun.
The selected building finishes are stone, cementitious lap siding with varying 8”, and 4” reveals, and stucco siding with expansion joints. The wood on the building acts a clear signifier of entry and establishes hierarchy by its height and sloped roof.
The building strikes a comfortable balance between commercial and residential with the mixed use of materials. Canopies on the upper windows were also added to bring another softening, residential element. The colors were purposefully selected to celebrate the building location while maintaining a soft, refreshing and inviting first impression.