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VOL. 4, NO. 3 -- SUMMER 2002

Hollywood Live-Works Use Courtyard Model

The north courtyard of Seven Fountains. Photo courtesy of Moule and Polyzoides.

The Seven Fountains (Harper Court) apartment complex was completed in February, marking Los Angeles’ first courtyard complex in 70 years. The building was designed by the Pasadena firm of Moule & Polyzoides and was inspired by the historic Spanish courtyards such as The Ronda and The Andalusia that were built in the 1920s (and are located on the same block). The complex is located in West Hollywood off the Sunset Strip.

With rental prices ranging from $3,500 to $7,000 per unit, Seven Fountains caters to the very highest tier of the multi-family market. Each of the 20 apartments has a unique one- to three-level floor plan with two entries: one for the residence and one for separate office space. Many of the residents are expected to work in the entertainment industry; so all offices are pre-wired for high-speed Internet hookups. Each unit also has a private patio or balcony with hillside or courtyard views and an automatic watering system. Balconies are reinforced for placement of private spas.

In addition to lavish private facilities, Seven Fountains boasts of its finely crafted community spaces. Shared amenities reinforce a “village cluster” community ambiance, including a boardroom with full teleconferencing facilities, a patio wood-burning fireplace, and a 12-person outdoor spa.

The complex’s seven custom-designed fountains provide focal points of activity or relaxation, displaying unique mural designs crafted in ceramic tile.

Over 30,000 square feet of authentic Malibu tile and classic pottery have been reproduced using the same methods as the originals. “It is the largest tile project of this caliber,” says general contractor Tim Lefevre. The high-fired tiles, used throughout the complex, ensure high color quality and durability and reflect the style of the Malibu vases used for the fountains.

The residences are fitted together and around the courts in the intricate way that is characteristic of Moule & Polyzoides’ work. As the firm describes it, the architecture “unites and modulates interior and exterior space.” According to architect Stefanos Polyzoides, “Handling the placement of two front entrances for each unit was especially difficult because we had to maintain a sense of privacy and community at the same time.” The layout around a central courtyard gives each of the units their privacy and views of the common areas and adjacent scenery.

The courtyards not only create a sense of privacy and provide an illusion of green space for their inhabitants, they also provide a viable option for housing in dense urban areas. With 20 units on 0.7 acres, Seven Fountains achieves an overall density of 29 dwelling units per acre. The project has been 100 percent leased since its groundbreaking in 2000.

Seven Fountains was developed by Angel’s Landing LLC, a development company headed by designer and entrepreneur Boyd Willat. The project has been selected to receive a 2002 Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism.