With the market moving towards an increased offering of opportunities to socialize at home, the company has introduced seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces in all new apartment communities that promote activity, relaxation, entertainment and overall wellbeing, with the underlying premise that residents want to work out, entertain and socialize close to home. In essence, the plan is to consolidate activities in one centralized location: where you live is right next door to where you relax by a resort-style pool, work out at a state-of-the-art gym, hold dinner parties at a chef’s kitchen, or work from a modern iLounge.
Supported by internal and external research efforts, the team applies their experience and creativity in the design of amenities that create immersive and authentic communal space: fitness centers aren't just rooms with equipment, but destinations where modern fitness trends are developed to their fullest potential. Socialization is a big part of the assumption in planning exercise areas, which has led to the addition of yoga lawns and functional movement spaces. But the essence is to always deliver spaces that first and foremost engaging, approachable and intuitive. It's about people before it's about equipment.
Pools get the vacation treatment with the addition of seating nooks, barbecue areas, outdoor fireplaces and cabanas. Connecting the indoors with the outdoors is another aspect that tops the team’s priority list, with the goal that residents move between these spaces fluidly.
Many communities now offer chef’s kitchens with long dinner tables for people to enjoy a meal together. These rooms can be used by residents, while also playing host to special community gatherings, cooking classes and wine tastings, all organized by a dedicated activities director. The Design team believes that the importance of these spaces lies in offering residents the opportunity to entertain guests as if they had that space in their homes.
“We want to be sure that we don’t design spaces simply based on trends. We activate spaces with event programming in mind as well as promoting a sense of community and togetherness. Amenity areas are truly successful when residents see them as an extension of their homes, and as part of a lifestyle layer in their community,” Bruno says.
At the end of the day, the team builds communities, not just apartment homes. A place where residents can have access to on-site retail with coffee shops, markets and postal services, as well as open spaces, parks and in some locations, personalized concierge services. And the team continues to innovate. The Village Mission Valley in San Diego comes with a craft beer room, while some communities have gaming studios, pizza ovens and wine cellars.
Today, the newest 100-acre master-planned village in Northern California’s Santa Clara Square has Bruno and his team fired up with the endless possibilities. This new live-work-shop-play destination slated for completion in 2018, will host an apartment home district and office campus as well as a shopping and dining district. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit that drives Silicon Valley, Bruno hinted at inventive amenities his team is dreaming up.
“I can’t spill any secrets just yet, but we are creating spaces that are exciting, dynamic and don’t conform to the typical amenity,” he smiles.